Sunday, September 09, 2007

Unique Surgery Treats Sleep Apnea

news you may not knowCounting Sheep...

Consider these questions. Are you a guy? Over forty? How's your weight? A bit on the pudgy side? Well...

If you are indeed a male, over the age of forty, and weigh in at the high side of healthy, you are a prime target for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Though OSA can strike anyone, even young children, the most common group fits the above profile.

OSA is a condition in which the airway is blocked during sleep, usually by the collapse of the soft tissue at the back of the throat, resulting in a loss of oxygen flow. This disruption in breathing often occurs many hundreds of times throughout the course of a single night. Much more than a nuisance, OSA is a critical health issue. Untreated OSA has been associated with several chronic conditions, including irregular heartbeat, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.

Surgeons at Thomas Jefferson University have devised a new surgical technique to address this issue. The procedure, known as a Genial Bone Advancement Trephine (GBAT), involves moving a small portion of the lower jaw forward in the patient's mouth. Since the tongue is attached to the bone, it comes along for the ride, and also moves forward. The result is an airway with less obstruction, and a better chance of a normal night's sleep.

"Even immediately after the procedure patients have an easier time breathing," noted Maurits Boon, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University." We have also observed that in a select group of patients hypertension drops off."

This is welcome news for men suffering from sleep apnea. And, of course, for the bleary-eyed wives, children, dogs, and cats of the men suffering from sleep apnea...

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about sleep apnea, see this from the American Sleep Apnea Association.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sleep apnea is a result of too little carbon dioxide in the body.
Take a look at: Xie A, Rankin F, Rutherford R, Bradley TD. Effects of inhaled CO2 and added dead space on idiopathic central sleep apnea. J Appl Physiol. 1997 Mar; 82(3): 918-26.
Full text at:

1:43 PM  
Blogger tim said...


Thanks for stopping by.

For all you hardcore science-types, here's a good chance to stretch your brains a bit. The article cited by anonymous is an in-depth, detailed look at a complex issue - charts and graphs included at no extra charge...



5:01 PM  

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