How does Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. In this disorder, repeated interruptions in breathing disturb the sleep cycle. These disturbances are called apneas. It can have an impact on physical as well as mental health while also affecting performance and energy.
Who is more likely to have sleep apnea?
- Those who have smaller jaws
- People who are obese
- Older adults
- Those who frequently indulge in alcohol and sedatives
Sleep apnea can range from mild snoring to complete blockage of breathing. The soft tissue in the airway collapses, and this obstructs the flow of oxygen. Doctors treat mild sleep apnea cases by making changes in diet and living styles and using oral appliances. Positive pressure air therapy is also an option. However, in severe cases, the person is completely unable to breathe, which can be fatal. Such a case can require surgery.
A doctor determines the need for surgery by conducting a sleep study. If one is consuming excessive alcohol or other sedatives, these will be highlighted pre-surgery along with obesity.
Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis surgery is performed to correct obstructive sleep apnea.
- This surgery involves increasing jaw bone length. A small cut is made in the lower jaw bone, and a metallic distractor device is fixed.
- The jaw bone length subsequently increases, and the attached tissues like the tongue shift forward, freeing the airway.
- In some centers, piezosurgery is used to cancel out the risk of injuring important nerves and teeth. It also makes surgery safer.
- The quality of the fixation plates are top-notch along with being sterilized.
- The surgery’s nature is such that it has to be planned and carried out by the exact measurements.
As such an invasive surgery has been done, one has to take care of some precautions. Remember that one might need to stay in the hospital for two to three days. There might be mild swelling in the facial region. Solid foods, along with exercise, have to be avoided for almost a month. Do proper saline rinses to keep the wound clean. A second surgery is necessary after 12 weeks for device removal if jaw distraction osteogenesis is performed. Some numbness of the lip and nasal stuffiness might occur post-surgery.
Performing this surgery will reduce many complications attached to sleep apnea such as heart disease and reduce the risk to life caused by daytime sleepiness, especially during driving. It will reduce snoring, and productivity will go up. Memory and the daily cognitive process will be better, along with a significant improvement in lifestyle. Although the surgery does not change the person’s appearance, it will improve the face profile while restructuring the jaw.
Experts need to perform this surgery to avoid any additional medical issues, injuries, or lifetime face alterations.