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Editorial
September 4, 2020

Upper Airway Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Sleep Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 2Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA. 2020;324(12):1161-1162. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.9332

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by repetitive upper airway collapse, hypoxemia, and sleep disruption; is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease; and is an important cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.1,2 In the US, the estimated prevalence in 2013 of moderate to severe sleep apnea was 10% to 17% in men and 3% to 9% in women,3 and the most common risk factors include advancing age, obesity, and male sex.4 Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is highly effective at maintaining upper airway patency, and has been shown in randomized clinical trials to improve symptoms of OSA, such as daytime sleepiness.5 Although CPAP is considered first-line therapy for symptomatic OSA, a substantial proportion of patients refuse or do not tolerate CPAP,6 leaving patients and their clinicians in search of other effective treatments.

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