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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003 Oct;129(4):327-35.

The efficacy of anatomically based multilevel surgery for obstructive sleep apnea.

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Department of Otolaryngology, NYU School of Medicine, 530 First Ave, Suite 3-C, New York, NY 10016, USA.



Most reports in the literature focus on the efficacy of a single procedure for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We review the overall efficacy of a surgical methodology based on localizing the level of anatomic obstruction for each patient and surgical correction of the nasal, oropharyngeal, or hypopharyngeal obstruction. Study design and setting Retrospective review of cases performed by a single practitioner using a systematic approach to surgery for OSA with preoperative and postoperative sleep studies.


Forty-two patients with a respiratory disturbance index (RDI) greater than 15 were included in the study. Surgery involved at least 2 levels of obstruction usually performed in 2 stages. All patients reported symptomatic improvement. Overall, 83.3% (35 of 42) of patients were cured according to the accepted RDI criteria of more than 50% reduction and final RDI of less than 20. All 21 patients with mild OSA (RDI, <29), 73% of patients with moderate OSA (RDI, 30 to 49), and 50% of patients with severe OSA (RDI, >50) were cured.


The use of an anatomically based methodology in approaching patients with OSA seems to offer a higher efficacy than a single procedure as reported in the literature.

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