For most people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that is at least moderate severity, CPAP is the most effective treatment option. However, for the right patient, jaw surgery can be very effective as well. The type of jaw surgery that is done is where the oral surgeon breaks the lower (and usually the upper) jaw to reposition it away from the face. This opens up the breathing tube, resulting in less obstruction. There is data showing short term effectiveness of this procedure, but little long term efficacy data. This study does just that.
The study participants were adults who had moderate or severe OSA. Sleep studies were done pre- and post-op jaw surgery, as well as at least 2 years after the surgery. Results showed that the average OSA severity reduced by almost 77% over the long term. And 47% of patients did not meet criteria for OSA post-op. Finally, 83% of patients had mild OSA but no excess sleepiness post-op. Blood pressure was decreased and quality of life increased after the jaw surgery. These improvements in OSA severity and blood pressure occurred despite an increase in weight during the followup period.