Dr. Steven Y. Park explained, during a session of Airway Focused Dentistry Mini Residency, how doctors often inadvertently contribute to obstructive sleep apnea.
Dr. Park described seven common procedures that increase your risk of obstructive sleep apnea and other forms of sleep disordered breathing:
Nose job – Rhinoplasty, (nose job), is a common procedure that may be performed for medical or cosmetic reasons. In many cases, particularly cosmetic enhancements, the procedure narrows the nasal passage, resulting in chronic congestion.
Jaw surgery – Cosmetic reductive jaw surgeries are popular, especially in South Korea. While patients may be happy with the aesthetic results, these procedures, like nose jobs, alter the facial structures and inhibit proper breathing during sleep.
Hysterectomy – Progesterone is an upper airway stimulant. Surgical menopause decreases a woman’s natural reproductive hormones, including progesterone. Post-menopausal women are more likely to experience sleep disordered breathing, even when the menopause is medically induced at a young age.
Implants – Surgeons often warn patients against sleeping on their stomachs after reconstructive or cosmetic surgery involving artificial implants, particularly breast augmentation.
Tooth extractions – In the past it was a common practice for dentists and orthodontists to perform extractions in order to make room for tooth movements. Although less common today, some professionals still remove teeth for orthodontics. This results in a narrow arch, and more difficult breathing.
Major surgeries – Some procedures such as hip replacement necessitate back-sleeping during recovery. This, combined with opiate pain killers, makes the patient susceptible to sleep apnea.
Sistrunk procedure – This surgery is performed to remove a thyroglossal duct cyst. It involves removing the midsection of the hyoid bone, altering the structure around the airway.
If you have concerns about sleep disordered breathing, please call (949) 661-1006 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz, co-developer of the Airway Focused Dentistry Mini Residency.