Obstructive Sleep Apnea
As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, I have the opportunity to positively change the lives of our patients, said Dr. Lee. We have the ability to evaluate adult patients regarding airway issues with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is characterized by sleep-related periodic breathing, upper-airway obstruction, sleep disruption, asphyxia and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, Lee explains. In a recent study, we were able to demonstrate that using a non-cutting laser procedure can increase the total airway volume and most constricted area of the patient’s airway, Lee emphasizes. Such research capability is possible with use of an in-office CT scan and imaging software. We can view the patient’s anatomic airway, obtain precise measurements and observe airway volumes with color-coded constriction values before and after treatment. What is unknown at the moment and is under further investigation with polysomnography that such treatment could have a mitigating effect on the adverse outcomes associated with OSA, said Dr. Lee. The results of this pilot study have resulted in publication of a peer reviewed research paper with Dr. Lee as the primary research investigator and author, says Lee.