Sleep Surgeries

A sleep surgery treatment plan is made once Dr. Ludwick identifies the areas of obstruction through an in-office exam and through findings made during DISE, Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy.

Obstructions are generally categorized as either occurring at the level of the palate (retropalatal) or of the tongue (retrolingual) or both. Therefore, sleep surgical procedures are combined as needed to address each area of obstruction.

Retropalatal:

  • Tonsillectomy (if present)
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPPP)
  • Lateral Pharyngoplasty

In simple terms, these procedures involve removing the tonsils, if present, trimming the palate, and decreasing the bulk of the outside wall of the throat. All of these procedures are done in one session and will effectively address obstruction in this area.

Retrolingual:

  • Partial Midline Glossectomy
  • Hyoid Suspension
  • Lingual Tonsillectomy

Dr. Ludwick always performs all of these procedures together, if indicated. These procedures include removing a portion of the tongue muscle that can not normally be seen, using permanent suture to help pull the hyoid bone forward away from the back wall of the throat, and removing any tonsil tissue that may be located at the back of the tongue. When done in concert, these procedures are very successful in dramatically improving the airway space behind the tongue while asleep. Believe it or not, these procedures are no more difficult to recover from than tonsillectomy. In fact, most patients find the recovery from these surgeries easier than tonsillectomy.

  • Inspire Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator*

Inspire is an implantable nerve stimulator, similar to those used as cardiac pacemakers, which maintains the tongue’s muscle tone while asleep. During wakefulness, the device is inactive. Inspire has also been shown to improve space behind the palate during sleep. This procedure requires no surgical changes to the throat so the recovery is much different than that of the above procedures.

Sleep Surgeries Video

* The Inspire Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator has been shown to be very effective, even for patients with very severe sleep apnea up to an apnea hypopnea index (AHI) of 65 events/hour.

You may have forgotten how normal feels

Feeling tired can feel normal after a short time. Those deliberately deprived of sleep for research initially noticed greatly the effects on their alertness, mood and physical performance, but the awareness dropped off after the first few days.

Testimonial – Jeff Seale

Dr Ludwick changed my life!

My sleep apnea was so bad that I would stop breathing so often and my oxygen level would get so low that many doctors said I would not live past 30 years old if I did not get something done. Enter Dr. Ludwick. Other doctors wanted to take a radical approach to my situation by combining several surgeries into one and even breaking my jaw and moving it forward!
Dr Ludwick took a much more conservative 1-2-3 “step” approach to the situation and decided to go one surgery at a time on an as needed basis. I could not have been more thankful for this!

Other doctors wanted to permanently disfigure me just to fix the problem. Dr. Ludwick did not view me as a problem that needed to be fixed, he understood I am a person and always kept my best interest and recovery in mind.

When my insurance company rejected post-surgery overnight ICU observation Dr. Ludwick personally called them and explained why it was necessary. Sure enough, as per Doc’s request, I was able to stay in observation. After being released from the hospital Dr. Ludwick even gave me his personal cell number to call 24/7 if there was any change in my recovery. He takes a great interest in his patients and makes every visit as personable as he can, sometimes even personally answering his office phones without the aid of his secretary.

Before Dr. Ludwick I was always tired, grumpy, and a mediocre student due to my condition. He vastly improved my life! I am no longer sluggish or grumpy and even went on to Sam Houston State University where I graduation with academic recognition.
My quality of life has never been better and I owe all to Dr. Ludwick!...See all testimonials

If you feel you require a surgical solution to solve your night time breathing problems, we encourage you to be evaluated by Dr. Ludwick today. You can also Request an appointment online.

DISE – Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy

The shortcoming of sleep study results is that they only tell us if a patient has significant airway obstructions during sleep. However, they do not tell us where the obstruction is occurring. The simple fact is that in patients who suffer from OSAS, their awake and asleep airway exams look completely different. If it didn’t, these patients would be snoring and obstructing all day long, not just when they sleep!

Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy is an endoscopic examination of the upper airway that is performed while the patient is sedated by an anesthesiologist in an operating room suite. In this controlled setting, the patient’s airway is monitored with video equipment while he or she sleeps. Snoring and airway obstructions are then observed, thus locating the source of the patient’s airway obstructions during sleep.

Dr. Ludwick performs DISE on all patients considering sleep surgery to determine where the obstruction is occurring. The exam is photo documented and reviewed with his patients. Once identified, a specific surgical plan is made to correct the obstruction. This ensures a positive result from the surgery.

 
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