After Surgery for Sleep Apnea

Some procedures for sleep apnea are done in the healthcare provider's office. Others are done in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. If you have a hospital procedure, you may stay 1 to 2 nights. Follow up with your surgeon after your procedure as directed.

Woman and girl visiting man in hospital bed.

Notes about surgery

Whatever kind of surgery you have for snoring or apnea, keep in mind:

  • There’s no guarantee that surgery will solve the problem. Surgery may sometimes stop snoring or apnea, but not both. So you will need a follow-up sleep study. This is done to check the effects of your surgery and to help decide what further treatment you might need.

  • You may have more than one blockage. So you may need more than one procedure.

  • Surgery may be done with other kinds of treatment.

  • Any surgery has a chance of complications. This includes bleeding and infection.

Recovering from surgery

After surgery, your nose, throat, or jaw may be sore for a few days to several weeks. Full recovery may take weeks or months. During this time, you may need to eat only soft foods:

  • Keep track of changes.  You and your partner must both keep track of how your sleep and health are different now. What is better? How much better? Is anything worse? Tell your healthcare provider.

  • Air pressure adjustments.  If you use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) after surgery, ask your surgeon when to start using it again after surgery. Keep your surgeon/healthcare provider informed about how well CPAP is working for you. If anything about it is uncomfortable, have it adjusted.

  • Don't smoke. Don't smoke before or after surgery. Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin and slows wound healing. Nicotine from any source (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, patches, chewing tobacco) also slows healing. Join a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success.

Online Medical Reviewer: Allen J Blaivas DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paula Goode RN BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2020
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