Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome—The Role of Bariatric and Maxillofacial Surgeries

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Obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is a complex disease with multifactorial etiology. It is marked by the occurrence of apnea and hypopnea events caused by repeated obstructions of the upper airways. OSAHS is strongly associated with obesity, and the prevalence of this disease in morbidly obese patients is very high. Nevertheless, not all patients with OSAHS are obese, and for this reason, there may be other anatomical predispositions to airway collapse. In obese patients, fatty deposition in the parapharyngeal region results in airway reduction and predisposes to airway collapse, worsened by neurologic loss of the normal dilator muscle tone of the neck. However, in nonobese patients, specific craniofacial characteristics such as posterior air pharyngeal space, tongue length, hyoid position, and maxillomandibular deficiencies may predispose some people to develop OSAHS. Treatment strategies for OSAHS patients vary from clinical treatment with continuous positive airway pressure, oral appliances, or medications for mild and moderate OSAHS patients, bariatric surgery for severe obese OSAHS patients to maxillomandibular advancement for obese or nonobese OSAHS patients.

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