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Brutal Surgery

Surgeon at workThat’s how Boston Red Sox player, Mike Napoli, describes the surgery he went through to cure his obstructive sleep apnea.


Napoli spent two days in an intensive care unit. The pain lingered for roughly 10 days. Activity was minimal and discomfort reigned supreme in what Napoli described as a “brutal” process. “It was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever done, to tell you the truth,” Napoli said.


I bring this to your attention because many patients with sleep apnea think that surgery is a “cure-all” for their problem. Even if the doctor fully informs the patient about the surgery, and they should, a lot of unforeseen things can happen even if it’s 100% successful. Having surgery to treat your sleep apnea has a number of known side effects. One side effect is that you could die from the surgery!


Surgery for treating your apnea is not like having surgery on any other part of your body. Yet, many patients think it’s going to be a walk in the park for them. Even if it’s successful, it hurts. I mean really hurts.


Lock up your guns…


I remember reading a comment on a sleep apnea forum by a dentist that had surgery for his apnea. The dentist recommended that anyone considering this should “lock-up your guns and give someone else the key” because the pain afterward is so intense.


Mike Napoli says that as laborious as the recovery has been —he still can’t feel his lips. I imagine that kissing and eating hot soup is out as well.


In my opinion, surgery should be one of your lesser options. I’m not against surgery or anything you do that will treat your sleep apnea. But really! There are other options less involved and less painful for you.


A sleep retainer is an option. So is losing weight. So is a CPAP. In my opinion, all of them are a lot better options than getting your throat operated on.




Dr. Hilton

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