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Old 05-21-2007, 12:34 PM  
Mr. Kotter Mr. Kotter is offline
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Advice for "Snoring" and Snoring Sugery???

OSA = Obstructive Sleep Apnea
UPPP = Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

I'm undergoing the U.P.P.P. surgery on Thursday....anyone been through it before???


Long story, made....not-so-short....

I've always snored. Ever since I can remember. Even when I was a kid. Over the past 25 years, it's become progressively worse--especially during the last 10 yrs. Over the course of our marriage, my wife says it's gradually worsened....over 18 yrs. During the past year, it's become....unbearable for her. She "diagnosed" my problem last year, and said I needed to see a doctor. Well, I hemmed and hawed and I dragged my feet....until I finally decided to go to the doctor, as it was becoming real sore spot for her.

After a sleep study I was diagnosed with "Severe OSA" (I "stopped" breathing an average 102 times per hour.) The Doc recommended use of a CPAP (night-time breathing machine,) and strongly recommended that I consider surgery. I had always kind of laughed off "snoring surgery" as it's sometimes called, so I literally asked the doctor: "So, what you are really trying to tell me, is 'hey, fatso....get off your ass, and get some exercise and lose some weight?'" She said, "I wish it were that easy."

Doc told me losing 25-30 lbs could help--but probably not much...at least not in my case anyway (that the severity of my problem was more indicative of a person weighing 100-150 lbs or more than I do.)

Long term effects of OSA can lead to hypertension, heart problems, and other organ failure--as a result of long-time and chronic oxygen deprivation during sleep (yeah, colleagues have subsequently dubbed me "braindead"....heh)...that, apparently, leads to quite a number of premature deaths...in otherwise normal and healthy people whose only apparent problem is varying degrees of being overweight (....I know, I know...I'm fat, but certainly not morbidly obese--which is often the stereotype for this ailment.)

The bottom-line is I still have my tonsils and adenoids, along with a "constricted" or narrow air passage, and a thick tongue (someone mentioned this may be what Reggie White died of?) They immediately put me on a CPAP machine to assist my night-time breathing. In a sentence, I've become a new man. Even though I still only get 5-6 hours of sleep, I awake refreshed....like I used to, 20 years ago.

I had just resigned myself to the thought that getting fatter and older, with four young kids, was draining me. I've always been a, "ah, just quit your whining and suck it up....screw going to the doctor" kinda guy. But of course, being dog tired 70-80% of the day....I had little energy or desire to exercise the way I used to, back in the day. Which, of course, compounded the problem with weight gain---about 4-5 lbs a year over the past 9-10 years. And weight had never ever been a major issue for me....so I should have paid closer attention, I guess.

According to the doctor (and some reading I've done,) it becomes a self-perpetuating problem: snoring leads to poor sleep (no REM--it's great "dreaming" again...heh), which leads to decreased energy/chronic exhaustion, which leads to less exercise, which leads to weight gain....which aggravates the sleep apnea, which compounds the whole cycle....and can contribute to depression and the physical ailments I mentioned earlier.

On Thursday, I go in for the dreaded UPPP. Apparently, it's a pretty nasty procedure, and takes 2 weeks or so to recover. Doc says though, afterward....I should REALLY be a new man. And that I may not even need the CPAP machine afterward. I guess we'll see.

Anyone have any experiences or knowledge they would be willing to share, I'd be interested to hear about it. Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-21-2007, 12:37 PM   #2
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Sleep Apnea is horrible. My wife's uncle has it, and he falls asleep constantly during the day. His doctor put him on Ritalin (as a stimulant) because he kept falling asleep at work and was going to get fired.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:39 PM   #3
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Good luck Kotter! Hope the surgery is a success and you have a speedy recovery.

My cousin had this done a couple years ago and said everything went smoothly, but I don't have any more details than that.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewChief
Sleep Apnea is horrible. My wife's uncle has it, and he falls asleep constantly during the day. His doctor put him on Ritalin (as a stimulant) because he kept falling asleep at work and was going to get fired.
Fortunately for me, I hadn't reached that point....I'm also ADHD (undiagnosed and unmediated, but I'm sure of it)....so I'm normally hyperactive. So now instead of bouncing off the walls, I'm just "awake" and "engaged" enough when I'm with other people.....my problem is the moment I get ANY down time....in a chair, with no stimulation....watching TV or a movie with my kids (that I'm not really interested in)....and on a rare occasion, "dozing" or eyes closing at a stoplight---which is what finally prodded me to going into the doctor.

Fortunately, for me....it doesn't affect my daily responsibilities in a marked way, other than I'm probably less efficient than I use to be, or should be.

Hopefully, this surgery will get me back to "normal."
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:44 PM   #5
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Bob Dole's dad did not have to undergo surgery, but started using the CPAP a couple of years ago after they determined that he regularly stopped breathing for periods exceeding 3 minutes. Just the use of the CPAP has improved his quality of life 300%. (It's done wonders for the quality of life of the people who have had to tolerate his tired, cranky ass, too.)
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:45 PM
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dole
Bob Dole's dad did not have to undergo surgery, but started using the CPAP a couple of years ago after they determined that he regularly stopped breathing for periods exceeding 3 minutes. Just the use of the CPAP has improved his quality of life 300%. (It's done wonders for the quality of life of the people who have had to tolerate his tired, cranky ass, too.)
Good to hear. I'm sure my demeanor has steadily deteriorated as well....I had attributed it to getting older, fatter, injesting rat shit, and other life "issues"....if the past three weeks are any indicator, my old cheerful self may still be in here, afterall.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noa
Good luck Kotter! Hope the surgery is a success and you have a speedy recovery.

My cousin had this done a couple years ago and said everything went smoothly, but I don't have any more details than that.
The "success rate," overall is not real encouraging, only about 50% long-term.....but for someone younger, with less of a weight problem (than many,) my chances improve.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter
The "success rate," overall is not real encouraging, only about 50% long-term.....but for someone younger, with less of a weight problem (than many,) my chances improve.

Yeah, I saw that on Wikipedia. Do you know anything about the Stanford Protocol?
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:11 PM   #9
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:29 PM   #10
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please get this done...

i don't know you from adam, but i lost a very close friend of mine a few years ago from complications due to sleep apnea, he was 23 years old

it's serious business
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noa
Yeah, I saw that on Wikipedia. Do you know anything about the Stanford Protocol?
Stanford Protocol? No....but I can Google it....
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:12 PM   #12
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Now that I'm back in the land of the fully insured (after a 4+ year absence for grad school), I'm going to press for a sleep study. Per the various g/f's, I have quite a bit of sleep apnea.

I guess the first step would be to find a GP, however.
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:27 PM   #13
Mr. Kotter Mr. Kotter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noa
Yeah, I saw that on Wikipedia. Do you know anything about the Stanford Protocol?
Well, it's apparently a two-step procedure....involving, first, the UPPP; then a surgical procedure on the jaw that involves moving the tongue forward.

My doctor did mention, IF this doesn't work.....that would be the next step.
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter
Well, it's apparently a two-step procedure....involving, first, the UPPP; then a surgical procedure on the jaw that involves moving the tongue forward.

My doctor did mention, IF this doesn't work.....that would be the next step.
Move the tongue forward??? I never heard of that part, but I got a UPPP and a tonsilectomy at the same time back in 99. My sleep apnea did not get any better. The surgery sucked and was pretty painfull for 3 days, but the military hospital would only give me Tylenol 3 for the pain.

I went back in for a sleep study 3 months later, and the surgery didn't help my apnea at all. It altered the sound of my voice and I soar throats are a lot worse now than they were before. With the uvula gone if you ever vomit, make sure you plug your nose or the vomit will keep going straight up into your nasal cavity. Don't drink beer to fast or the foam will go up there as well. I waited until I got out of the military, had another sleep study done and was put on a CPAP. It is a pain being hooked up to a machine every night, but it resolves the apnea issue.

Hopefully you will have better luck than I had, but with over 10 other diseases such as kidney failure, heart problems, alzimers, etc... having had partial links found to sleep apnea you have no choice but to do something about it.
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter
The "success rate," overall is not real encouraging, only about 50% long-term.....but for someone younger, with less of a weight problem (than many,) my chances improve.

BTW, I was 24 years old, 6'1" 220lbs at the time of the surgery. I'm 5 years older and 50 pounds fatter now, but the severity of the apnea is still the same.
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