Are you suffering from snoring and intermittent breathing during sleep? These are signs of a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the muscles of the throat relax and block your airway during sleep. To treat this condition, Douglas Anderson, MD of Utah may recommend an uvulectomy procedure.

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Some signs that may indicate obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Loud and persistent snoring
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Observed episodes of breathing cessation while sleeping
  • Awakening suddenly by gasping or choking
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Nighttime sweating
  • High blood pressure

People are more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea if one or more of the following risk factors are present. These include high blood pressure, excess weight, a narrowed airway, chronic nasal congestion, diabetes, genetic predisposition, asthma, or those who use tobacco products. Men are also twice as likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea as women.

What is an Uvulectomy?

For severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, Douglas Anderson may recommend an uvulectomy procedure. The uvula is a small, bell-shaped organ which hangs down from the top of the throat. This organ contains many salivary glands, so it plays a role in keeping the mouth moist. During an uvulectomy, this soft tissue is removed in an effort to reduce snoring and widen the pharyngeal airway. This can generally be done as an outpatient procedure, using only a local anesthetic. To remove the uvula, your doctor may either use laser-ablation or a hot snare approach.

An uvulectomy may not cure obstructive sleep apnea, but it can greatly improve the negative symptoms associated with the condition, leading to more restful sleep for the patient. In certain cases, only a portion of the uvula is removed, and this is known as a partial uvulectomy.

If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, an uvulectomy procedure may be the best course of treatment. To learn more about an uvulectomy or schedule an appointment, reach out to the office of Douglas Anderson, an ENT specialist in Ogden.