Author Topic: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?  (Read 3084 times)

nick_mmm

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tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« on: April 08, 2018, 07:54:45 PM »
I am a 31yr old, and I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP. I am of healthy weight, and Doctors have suggested that having a tonsillectomy has a chance of reducing it enough that I may no longer need a CPAP; but of course no guarantees.  I only get 10 days vacation and 4 sick days / year, and the recovery I have read is about a 10 day process.  I live alone and would also need to find someone to stay with me for a few days.  I hear the procedure is relatively low risk, but very painful.

I am okay with the CPAP, but it really impairs my love of camping and travel which is my motivation.  I suspect I could go without for a few days, but I am so used to sleeping with it that I would get lousy sleep and not be able to enjoy myself during the day.

Has anyone had a tonsillectomy  as an adult? What were your experiences?  Is it worth the pain/loss of vacation time for a chance to treat Sleep Apnea?

TeeDubba

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2018, 09:09:20 PM »

Had it done.   Worked for a couple of months, then back to the CPAP.

Not worth the pain or the cost. 

If you want to get off the machine, lose some weight.   It's the only thing I have truly seen work.

civil4life

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 06:55:18 AM »
My mom is a registered polysonographer (big fancy word for sleep specialist).  She has been in the business for almost 30 years.  Works in a hospital.  She performs and reads the sleep studies.  She has told me many times that she does not recommend any of the surgeries for sleep apnea.  They do not have a very good success rate.  There is another procedure where they remove a thin layer of the inner part of your mouth and throat.  It sounds painful and is extremely painful.  Again not very successful.  I have heard of one success for this surgery.  One of my colleague's kids.  I believe kids are the area where they are most successful, but again the success rate is really low.

As far as the camping and traveling.  If you google CPAP and DC/AC converter there are plenty of resources about what type of batteries and conversion that is needed for camping without electricity.


Sibley

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 09:33:53 AM »
Assuming you've tried the change sleep positions, incline, etc to keep your airway open. Just have to say it cause not everyone thinks about those things, and sometimes they can make a significant difference.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 09:48:04 AM »
30 years ago my husband would sleep, stop breathing, wake up, go back to sleep.The way he tells it, I saved his life. Ok, I'll accept that!

We didn't know the term 'sleep apnea' I just knew it wasn't right. Oh, he was a big snorer too.
He was not overweight, at all. When I looked in there, there was a wall of tissue. I don't remember anyone saying it was his tonsils, just a wall of tissue.
Oh, he used to get really really bad sore throats, so I guess that is why.

He went for a sleep study, and it was concluded he woke up 50 times an hour, but could fall back asleep so it wasn't really affecting his awake life. He was using a Cpap then, until the surgery, a few months later.

He went to an ear, nose and throat guy, who had the longest fingers I have ever seen, and had that wall taken out.

Like I said, that was 30 years ago, with no recurrence or problems since.

The main thing to get from this :
I SAVED HIS LIFE!
Just remembered: the procedure was done in the doctor's office which is right next to the hospital.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 10:59:13 AM by TheWifeHalf »

Dicey

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 09:50:34 AM »
My husband is extremely lean and still has sleep apnea, in some cases it has nothing to do with weight. Heís well managed by a sleep appliance.
Mine, too.

Just chiming in to mention that if you use a C-PAP, check with your utility company. You may qualify for lower rates through higher baseline allotments, for the frugal win! Yes, your doctor is supposed to tell you about this program, but it doesn't always happen. It's just a simple form. You fill it out and your doctor's office submits it.

Also, we had one of those devices where they can reduce your A/C power at peak demand periods. They recently came out and removed it because of the C-PAP.  The utility company decided everyone with qualified medical devices should not be involved in any kind cutback program, even voluntarily.  We rarely use our A/C, so we didn't care, but they insisted and sent a guy out to remove it the very next day.

nedwin

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 01:58:28 PM »
I use a mouthpiece that moves my jaw forward instead of CPAP.  It has been very effective and doesn't require any electricity.  Maybe it would be a good alternative for you.

Depending on your employer, you may be eligible for FMLA leave (which may be unpaid) and/or short term disability pay during recovery from surgery.  This may let you save your vacation and sick days should you decide to do the surgery.

Rob_bob

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 04:04:55 PM »
I once worked with a woman who had her tonsils out as an adult.  IIRC she had four kids.  She said having her tonsils out was more painful than giving birth LOL.

Gone Fishing

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2018, 04:26:56 PM »
Had my tonsils out as an adult to treat chronic infections.  Very painful. Doctor said I'd be back to work in 10 days.  The first week was painful, after that it was fatigue partially induced by the restrictive diet.  I went to work on the eleventh day and couldn't make it through the day.  Think I made it most of the way on the 12th with the help of a cheese burger (I think I was still supposed to wait a day or two more before eating solid food).  Forcing the recovery can result in severe, even life threatening, bleeding.

The worst part of it was, under the influence of pain pills and boredom, I made a $1500 Craigslist purchase of farm equipment in need of repair.  It still needs repair...

Abe

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 08:45:54 PM »
None of the operations done for sleep apnea are effective except for select cases. You'd need to talk with an ENT surgeon to get an opinion on tonsillectomy for your specific scenario. A meta-analysis of a small population of 125 patients who underwent this procedure showed that it allowed 50% to get off CPAP. The main point I saw from reading this was the incredibly small number of patients, which makes it hard to make any real guess about the accuracy of that quoted percentage.

Recovery is difficult for any mouth or pharynx operation in an adult. It's painful for several weeks afterwards, in general. There are people who hawk (sp?) so-called minimally invasive operations that have minimal recovery: ignore them, those don't work otherwise everyone would do them.

teen persuasion

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 02:35:52 PM »
I use a mouthpiece that moves my jaw forward instead of CPAP.  It has been very effective and doesn't require any electricity.  Maybe it would be a good alternative for you.

Depending on your employer, you may be eligible for FMLA leave (which may be unpaid) and/or short term disability pay during recovery from surgery.  This may let you save your vacation and sick days should you decide to do the surgery.
DH now uses a mouthpiece, and believes it works better than the CPAP did for him.  He was contacted about the mouthpiece study by his doctor - he was given the device for free by the dentist designing the mouthpiece, in return for a series of fitting/adjustment sessions as part of the trial development.

TrMama

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 03:32:31 PM »
Has anyone had a tonsillectomy  as an adult? What were your experiences? 

I can't speak much about apnea treatments, but I had a tonsillectomy at 22 to treat abscessed tonsils. Also had mono, just for good measure. Prior to that episode I'd get strep throat a couple times a year and while I was in the hospital for the abscesses/mono I insisted they just take my tonsils out. Had to argue for it, since ENTs don't like to take them out while they're infected due to increased risk (of bleeding?).

Recovery wasn't quite as awful as others have described. I lived alone at the time and managed just fine with a little cooking help from my mom. If I'd had advance notice (the illness and surgery weren't planned) I could've easily laid in a supply of appropriate foods and meds ahead of time. I was only given liquid codeine for pain and it was sufficient. You'll also want gravol on hand since the anesthetic and pain killers can make you nauseous and you do not want to throw up during recovery.

If you decide to do it, buy lots of soft semi-solid foods ahead of time. I pretty much lived on mac and cheese (ready made from the deli), mashed potatoes (from a box) drenched in gravy (from a can), pudding and blended papaya. Pureed soups would also be good. You'll also need a glass of water on hand to help you swallow each bite. Also get paper plates/bowls/plastic cutlery so you don't have to do dishes.

I was back at work a week after surgery and did OK, other than not being able to talk much yet. My coworker had to take all my customer calls (I took over a bunch of her email correspondence in exchange). Frankly, the mono was more brutal than the surgery recovery.

civil4life

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 08:41:46 AM »
None of the operations done for sleep apnea are effective except for select cases. You'd need to talk with an ENT surgeon to get an opinion on tonsillectomy for your specific scenario. A meta-analysis of a small population of 125 patients who underwent this procedure showed that it allowed 50% to get off CPAP. The main point I saw from reading this was the incredibly small number of patients, which makes it hard to make any real guess about the accuracy of that quoted percentage.

I was able to talk to my mom last night.  She did not have statistics, but her estimate was about the same 50%.

This is still a prototype, but will be great for traveling in the future http://www.fundairing.com/.

SimpleCycle

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 11:29:13 AM »
The statistics say surgery is 50% effective, and I think that rate is actually WITH good case selection.  The most common procedures that ARE effective are more complicated than tonsillectomy.  Basically I wouldn't be thinking about at all until after a consultation with a surgical ENT who does a lot of these types of surgeries.  Were you referred to this ENT by a sleep doctor?

I am not a good candidate for surgery because my apnea is caused by my jaw position more than by my soft tissue structure.

I would look into a mandibular advancement device for camping and travel.  More likely to be effective and no downtime other than maybe another sleep study.

robartsd

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2018, 01:02:20 PM »
Depending on your employer, you may be eligible for FMLA leave (which may be unpaid) and/or short term disability pay during recovery from surgery.  This may let you save your vacation and sick days should you decide to do the surgery.

Take your vacation first if you elect for surgery and you'd rather take unpaid medical leave than not have vacation time. FMLA requires employers to allow medical leave in most cases; however, employers can choose to require employees to use up their paid leave credits before allowing unpaid leave under FMLA. No reason not to use your sick leave for surgery (if you're sick later and have no leave available FMLA would require employer to allow unpaid leave then).

MBot

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Re: tonsillectomy for sleep apnea?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2018, 05:18:46 PM »
I canít vouch for the sleep apnoea aspect of it ó but when I had my tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy done I could also breathe much much better during the day.

 it made a huge difference and I bet if you get it done youíll find it makes a difference in your daily life not just your sleep.

 I also found my recovery time was far less than 10 days your mileage may vary of course but I recovered probably in about 5 to 7 days