FAQs

Why the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center of Texas?

The Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center of Texas was created to provide a Center of Excellence (COE) through a multidisciplinary team and dedicated facility (Forest Part Medical Center) for the evaluation and treatment of Sleep Disordered Breathing/Sleep Apnea. The multidisciplinary team has developed evaluation and treatment protocols based on clinical experience at other institutions to provide the most optimal result through treatment. Results are captured in a database inclusive of all aspects of the evaluation and treatment. Database analysis will allow for critical review of treatment data to establish and sustain the Center of Excellence.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is perhaps the most common of all sleep disorders and affects nearly 18 million people in the United States, yet few people realize the dangers of the disorder. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea not only snore, but they also experience episodes of respiratory obstruction greater than 10 seconds. If left untreated, this can result in a number of health problems including hypertension, stroke, congestive heart failure, diabetes and heart attacks, just to name a few. Occasionally, the disorder proves to be fatal.

What can I expect during the initial evaluation?

An extensive history of the patient's sleep disordered breathing including the ambulatory history of present medications, allergies to medications, previous surgery, and co- morbid illnesses will be obtained. The patient will complete a sleep apnea questionnaire including the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. During the evaluation the patient's height and weight including calculation of BMI (body mass index) and neck circumference will be documented. Examination will then focus on the head and neck evaluation including dental occlusion, facial morphology (structure), nasal evaluation for obstruction, and oropharyngeal evaluation for tonsil enlargement, and length of the palate and uvula.

The patient's sleep study data and history of CPAP utilization will then be analyzed.

Based upon the analysis of the findings a recommendation for surgical treatment may be made.

Who should consider evaluation through the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center of Texas?

Individuals who have failed conservative management (CPAP and oral appliances) or those who have undergone other sleep apnea procedures require evaluation.

Can I be evaluated by the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center of Texas if I have not previously undergone a sleep study?

Yes, an evaluation and sleep study will be obtained through the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center of Texas and afterwards a treatment protocol will be outlined.

Am I a candidate for surgical procedure if I have not been tried on CPAP or other conservative treatments?

No, CPAP remains the "gold standard" for initial treatment. Before a patient is considered in the surgical treatment protocol every attempt for CPAP compliance should be made.

Are all the treatment plans the same?

No, the treatment plan varies based upon prior surgical treatment, the physical examination, and analysis of the sleep study data.

What kind of results can I expect?

The success of the procedures depends on several factors including those outlined in the physical examination, such as body size (body mass index), neck circumference, and severity of the sleep apnea based on previous sleep studies. The anticipated results based upon prior experience will be discussed the time of discussion of the surgical plan.

Is treatment considered "minimally invasive"?

The only surgical treatment considered "minimally invasive" and office based is the radiofrequency ablation of the tongue base (RFA). The other treatments discussed on the website with the exception of the oral appliance, are complex surgical procedures usually requiring 2 to 3 days of hospitalization.

Are these procedures covered by my insurance?

All of these procedures are covered by the major insurance carriers with the exception of the radiofrequency ablation of the tongue base (RFA). Presently only Medicare and United Health cover the RFA. Prior to scheduling a surgical treatment precertification of the procedure will be obtained through the surgeon's office.


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