Answer Provided by Dr. Kasey Li
August 29, 2007
In general, young women with moderate to severe OSA either are quite overweight (the main cause of OSA is due to the weight issue) have or significant upper airway narrowing (the main cause of OSA is due to the small upper airway).
Additionally, women usually do not have much excess soft tissue, thus young, non-obese women with significant OSA usually have small jaws. Obviously, this is an assumption since I have not examined you.
Since the natural history of OSA is that it progresses with age, therefore, I usually recommend that young patients such as your self try to maximize the improvement with surgery.
There is no question that MMA achieves the best improvement and that is what I would probably recommend. However, you can certainly consider hyoid advancement with genioglossus advancement and palatopharyngoplaty. It can be a viable option if you have tonsils, which improves your chances.
I don’t know how experience your surgeon is, but women’s hyoid bone is much smaller and softer and there is a greater chance of fracture during the operation as compared to men.
My best advice would be for you to evaluate the odds of success and your comfort level in going through these operations.