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The UCSF Division of Sleep Surgery provides expertise on surgery for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

  • During sleep, the muscles of the upper throat relax, leading to collapse and blockage of the upper airway
  • Obstruction of the airway reduces airflow and affects breathing patterns in sleep
  • Disrupted breathing in sleep can be associated with snoring sounds
  • Obstructive sleep apnea impacts sleep quality and can lead to daytime tiredness

How do I know I have OSA?

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep

How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed?

  • A sleep study is performed to measure breathing at nighttime
  • This can be done at home or in the sleep laboratory

What treatments are available?

  • CPAP
  • Oral Appliance
  • Sleep Position
  • Weight Management
  • Surgery

What is sleep surgery?

  • Sleep surgery is an option for someone who cannot use other forms of treatment for sleep apnea
  • Surgery for sleep apnea is second-line therapy after trying CPAP

Am I a candidate for surgery?

See Surgery for Sleep Apnea and Snoring

  • Start with testing for sleep apnea with a sleep study 
  • Try using a non-surgical method for sleep apnea treatment (typically CPAP or an oral appliance) 
  • If non-surgical treatment does not work, obtain an evaluation with a sleep surgeon to discuss your options 
  • Evaluation for sleep surgery is individualized and depends on many factors about your sleep and medical history and exam 

What do I need to obtain an appointment with the sleep surgery center?

  • You will need a copy of a recent diagnostic sleep study preferably done within the last 3 years (full study report) 
  • A referral from you primary care or sleep medicine provider 
  • Notes from your provider forwarded to the office 
  • Complete the sleep surgery intake form prior to your visit

See Prepare for Your Visit