The medical and surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) involves understanding a number of parameters starting with the diagnosis. Medical treatment typically includes CPAP, sleep hygiene, weight loss and medication management. The goal of surgical treatment of OSAS is to enlarge the airway as a curative means by bimaxillary advancement or as an adjunct to medical management. Knowledge of the specific airway obstruction and characteristics based on 3D studies permits a more precise and directed surgical treatment plan that can successfully address the area or areas of airway obstruction. The end occlusal result can be improved when orthodontic treatment is combined with the surgical plan.
The adult with OSA, though, is more complicated then the usual orthognathic patient and both the medical condition and treatment length need to be judiciously managed when OSA and associated conditions are present. The peri-operative management of the patient with OSA is more complex and the margin for error is reduced and this needs to be taken in consideration and the care altered as indicated.
Further, it must be appreciated that OSAS is frequent in the pediatric population and tends to occur in families. Management of both the medical and surgical aspects of OSA is best undertaken in the pediatric population prior to development of the associated medical conditions and permanent anatomical changes.
Medical and surgical management of OSAS are not mutually exclusive treatments but are frequently combined and vary according to the individual patient.