Sleep Surgery


Sleep surgery is the specialty that focuses on surgery for treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It includes techniques and procedures to evaluate the breathing passages thoroughly and surgeries to enlarge and stabilize the breathing passages. These surgeries facilitate other non-surgical treatments (eg, CPAP, dental devices) and improve the symptoms and consequences of sleep apnea.

Learn more about Sleep Apnea Research 

Patient Evaluation

Surgery evaluation techniques enable identification of obstructing tissues and structures contributing to sleep apnea. Most are non-invasive or minimally invasive and are performed in the clinic. Examples include:

  • Physical examination
  • Acoustic rhinometry
  • Peak inspiratory flow
  • Nasal endoscopy
  • Fiberoptic laryngoscopy
  • Sleep endoscopy (performed under sedation)

Treatment options provided by our specialists

Nasal surgeries improve tolerance of CPAP, effectiveness of dental devices, daytime nasal breathing, snoring, and mild sleep apnea. Examples of nasal surgeries include:

  • Septoplasty (corrects internal deformities)
  • Septorhinoplasty (corrects internal and external deformities that compromise breathing)
  • Turbinate reduction (reduces obstructing tissues in the nose)

Airway surgeries to treat snoring and sleep apnea include, for example:

  • Palate stiffening (reduces snoring with implants or radiofrequency)
  • Tonsillectomy, lingual tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy (remove obstructing tissues)
  • Uvuloplalatopharyngoplasty (prevents collapse of the tissues in the back of the mouth)
  • Partial glossectomy (reduces tongue size)
  • Genioglossus advancement (reduces tongue collapse)
  • Hyoid suspension (lifts and stabilizes the airway from the neck)
  • Epiglottoplasty (stabilizes the voice box cover)
  • Maxillomandibular advancement (moves jaws forward to open and stabilize the throat)
  • Tracheotomy (bypasses the throat for breathing but still allows normal daytime function)


Clinics and Research Center

Harborview Medical Center

At the Otolaryngology General Clinic at Harborview our multidisciplinary team is available to assess and treat all patients with any pathology/complaints related to Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

Seattle Children's Hospital

At Seattle Children's, we specialize in caring for children with a broad range of conditions, from ear infections to problems with hearing and speaking.