Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Successfully Treated With New Surgical Procedure

Armen Hareyan's picture

Physicians have successfully treated patients with obstructive sleep apnea with a novel surgical procedure.

The procedure involves the Advance System which consists of an implant in the tongue and lower jaw to prevent upper airway collapse during sleep. The preliminary results of this new procedure in the first 10 patients are promising.

Earlier this year, a team headed by ENT-surgeon Dr. Evert Hamans, performed the procedure successfully for the first time worldwide. This week the results of the follow-up examinations in the first 10 operated patients became available. A significant improvement of apnea index was achieved in all the patients. Snoring and daytime sleepiness were significantly reduced.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)


Obstructive sleep apnea is a disease where the upper airway collapses during sleep. This obstruction results in a shortage of oxygen and fragmentation of sleep. In Western-Europe and the USA, 4% of men and 2% of women suffer from OSA. Most common complaints include loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness and cognitive impairment. In some patients the sleepiness is pronounced and potentially dangerous as it could result in car-accidents Long term, these patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The current treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) which includes the use of a ventilation mask during sleep. Although this treatment is effective, a number of patients find it intolerable and/or are non-compliant to this treatment. Some CPAP users seek alternative solutions.

Other surgical treatments for OSA can be highly invasive and have high morbidity rates requiring long hospital stay. The efficacy of these surgical treatments for moderate or severe OSA is also limited. A lot of patients are not willing to undergo such surgery.

Simple procedure and short hospital stay

The Advance procedure is short, has a low morbidity and currently requires one night of hospital stay. The innovative aspects of this new procedure include the ability to prevent the tongue from obstructing the upper airway, the ability to adjust the implant to the need of the patient under local anaesthesia and the low morbidity of the procedure.


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