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Metro Health

Ear, Nose and Throat

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when a person has breathing interuptions, where they stop breathing, in their sleep. These interuptions can happen hundreds of times a night, and sometimes for a minute or longer. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where the soft tissue at the back of the throat closes, blocking the person’s airway. A common warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring (especially snoring interspersed with gasps or lack of breathing) although it is not always as a result of sleep apnea.

Our team is well qualified to treat sleep apnea or heavy snoring, and there are several treatment options available:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – surgery that treats obstructive sleep apnea by tightening the tissue in the throat and palate to expand the passageways.
  • Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP) – TAP is a variety of procedures used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Some procedures include laser treatment to remove the obstruction, while radiofrequency ablation is used to shrink the excess tissue.
  • Genioglossus and Hyoid Advancement – surgically opens up the lower throat and pulls the tongue muscles forward.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – involves the patient wearing a pressurized mask over their nose while they sleep. The mask pumps air through the airway to keep it open.
  • Septoplasty and Turbinate Surgery – reduces resistance to air flow through the nose.

While snoring may seem harmless, it can be an indicator of a more serious medical condition that requires treatment to prevent future health problems. Talk to your doctor today if you suffer from snoring.


Our experienced team of otolaryngologists and audiologists are seeing patients at four convenient locations in and around Grand Rapids. Call (616) 252-5760 for your appointment.

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