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After Surgery for Sleep Apnea

Some procedures for sleep apnea are done in the doctor’s office. Others are done in a hospital or surgery center. If you have a hospital procedure, you may stay 1 to 2 nights. Be sure to follow up with your doctor after your procedure.

Mother and son visiting father in hospital.

Notes about surgery

Whatever kind of surgery you have for snoring or apnea, keep in mind:

  • There’s no guarantee that surgery will solve the problem. Surgery may sometimes stop snoring or apnea, but not both. So you will need a follow-up sleep study to check the effects of your surgery and to help decide what further treatment you might need.

  • You may have more than 1 blockage. So you may need more than 1 procedure.

  • Surgery may be combined with other kinds of treatment.

  • Any surgery has a chance of complications, including bleeding and infection.

Recovering from surgery

After surgery, your nose, throat, or jaw may be sore for a few days to several weeks. Full recovery may take weeks or months. During this time, you may need to eat only soft foods:

  • Keep track of changes. It’s important that you and your partner both keep track of how your sleep and health are different now. What is better? How much better? Is anything worse? Tell your doctor.

  • Air pressure adjustments. If you use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) after surgery, ask your doctor when to start using it again after surgery. Keep your doctor informed about how well CPAP is working for you. If anything about it is uncomfortable, have it adjusted.


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