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Sleep Surgeon Question 33

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Question 33 - What could cause jolts of anxiety after UPPP?

From: T.

Hi, My sleep study shows that I have apnea. It’s returned after having UPPP surgery more than 5 years ago.

However, what is also so troubling is that I regularly get a jolt of anxiety as soon as I begin to fall asleep, even after the surgery. Anxiety also wakes me over and over again in the morning until I get up.

When it comes in the middle of the night, I wake with a terrible sense of dread that quickly leaves after gaining consciousness. At this time I feel as though I have not been breathing and my neck and shoulder muscles have been constricted.

This has been going on for over 10 years. Could apnea be causing this?

Thank you, T.

Answer Provided by Dr. Kasey Li
May 5, 2008

Some degree of numbness in the lower lip/gum region following surgery is not uncommon and most resolve with time.

Clearly, some patients will have permanent numbness but it is usually not total numbness. Increased sensitivity and pain in the gum/lip region can happen but is quite rare. In my experience of 600+ MMAs, I have had two patients with residual tenderness in the gum region.

It can be helped by medications such as Neurontin to reduce the sensitivity of the nerve. Some patients can have transient tenderness and increased sensitivity for a few months but usually resolves in 6 months.


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