Impact of Minimally Invasive Multilevel Surgery on Mild/Moderate OSA

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To assess 10-year data on subjective and objective improvements in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) after single-stage multilevel minimally invasive surgery.

Study Design

Case series with chart review.


Tertiary academic center.

Subjects and Methods

A chart review was conducted of 601 patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA who were treated with single-stage multilevel minimally invasive surgery from January 2005 to January 2015. Patients were treated with a combination of procedures that included various nasal procedures, palatal stiffening, and radiofrequency tongue base reduction. Demographics and objective and subjective parameters were collected; all patients were included who had a mean of 6 months of follow-up data available. Pre- and postoperative values were compared.


A total of 601 patients were included in this study (67.0% male; age, 38.2 ± 9.4 years; mean body mass index, 27.4 ± 4.1 kg/m2). Mean apnea-hypopnea index decreased significantly from 19.8 ± 5.9 events per hour preoperatively to 12.7 ± 7.6 events per hour postoperatively (P < .0001), with a 45.9% rate of “surgical success.” Mean daytime sleepiness decreased significantly from 12.1 ± 4.8 to 6.8 ± 2.9 (P < .001) per the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Mean snoring intensity showed a significant decrease from 8.8 ± 0.8 to 4.0 ± 2.1 (P < .001).


Ten-year experience shows that treatment with single-stage multilevel minimally invasive surgery decreases objective and subjective measures in selected patients with mild to moderate OSA. Although not curative, this technique helps to control symptoms in a population of patients who refused CPAP.

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