Keck Hospital of USC is ranked among the best hospitals in the country in the US News and World Report "Best Hospitals" list Dr. Kezirian is consistently ranked as a top doctor by Healthgrades, Best Doctors in America, and many other organizations and publications.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Procedures

Successful surgical treatment depends on the accurate identification of the factors responsible for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in each person. A personalized approach is required because there is no single snoring or sleep apnea procedure that works well for everyone. In selecting treatments for patients, Dr. Kezirian relies on the latest research, including his own work, concerning surgical evaluation and techniques, surgical outcomes, and potential complications.  

What surgeries does Dr. Kezirian perform?

Dr. Kezirian performs virtually the entire range of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea procedures. His goal is to achieve the best results with the lowest risks, and this is possible through the appropriate use of everything from minimally-invasive options like the Pillar Procedure to the most-involved approaches, such as maxillomandibular advancement. He is extremely familiar with the latest developments in the field, as he gives lectures regularly about the newest available surgical treatments and works with many companies that are in the midst of developing novel technologies.

How does Dr. Kezirian select a sleep apnea procedure for a treatment plan?

Surgical procedures enlarge and stabilize different structures around the airway to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. There are three major areas that can contribute to these conditions: the Nasal, Palate, and Tongue Regions. In an individual patient, often more than one of these Regions are responsible. His philosophy is to address these areas of airway obstruction in a targeted approach to achieve the best outcomes.   Preoperative evaluation represents a critical opportunity to plan and tailor surgical treatment to the individual’s pattern of airway blockage rather than performing the same procedure on all patients.  Because not all procedures offer the same benefits, his research examines benefits of specific procedures and has led to refining and developing new procedures.  

Does snoring or obstructive sleep apnea surgery work?

Dr. Kezirian has written on his blog about how to evaluate surgical treatment outcomes.

In addition, there are three things to keep in mind when asking this question. First, some people (including surgeons) have looked at sleep surgery as being one procedure for everyone, primarily soft palate surgery (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP). In fact, one of Dr. Kezirian's recent published studies showed that approximately 80% of sleep apnea surgery in the United States is focused solely on the soft palate. It may not be too surprising, as these are the only procedures that most surgeons know. As shown on this website, there are multiple other procedures available, and Dr. Kezirian is dedicated to training other surgeons in this country and around the world in these techniques, which are often newer and technically more challenging.

Surgical results are unpredictable when the same procedure is performed in everyone. Although it is impossible to make guarantees in medicine, many studies show that it is possible to improve surgical outcomes through careful evaluation of patients and selecting procedures that are best for an individual patient. The importance of patient evaluation is widely recognized by surgeons and others. Patient evaluation and the selection of procedures is a primary focus of Dr. Kezirian's research and the most common topic on which he lectures throughout the United States and the world.

The third important thing to consider is that surgery carries risks and potential side effects. Dr. Kezirian has performed some of the leading studies on surgical complications and has written extensively on these complications and measures to avoid them. Dr. Kezirian has outlined these potential risks on each procedure page not to scare patients but to inform them of the risks and to ensure that one must be aware of them and all measures to avoid complications and minimize risks.

Why should I come see Dr. Kezirian?

Dr. Kezirian has also written on his blog about the reasons to consider seeing an otolaryngologist if you have snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea surgery is a new and changing medical field. His specialization, experience, and research allows him to provide the most advanced patient care. This includes selecting procedures, performing procedures, or recognizing when not to have surgery at all. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and major organizations, and this work is recognized nationally and internationally. He is double Board-certified in otolaryngology—head and neck surgery and sleep medicine, which is important because of the complex relationships between snoring, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders that often affect the results that can be achieved with surgery. Dr. Kezirian takes pride in training other surgeons through courses and invited lectures in this country and around the world.  Finally, he works extensively with established and startup companies in the development and refinement of new technologies, with the goal of developing and delivering cutting-edge care.

There are many surgeons who are new to the field of surgery for snoring and sleep apnea but who are advertising themselves as experts in this area. Many of these surgeons have training in facial plastic surgery but have no advanced training in snoring and sleep apnea. To pick one example, there are people touting themselves as experts in minimally-invasive procedures such as the Pillar Procedure. Dr. Kezirian was one of the first 5 surgeons in the United States performing the Pillar Procedure. While others may be offering that procedure to everyone they see with snoring and sleep apnea, Dr. Kezirian takes a more careful approach, treating patients with this procedure based on a thorough understanding of his experience and that of others. The most important factor in obtaining good results for this procedure, like any treatment, is using it only in patients who would be expected to obtain the most benefit. There are simply many claims out there on other websites, in particular related to this procedure, that are not true and not supported by any research. Dr. Kezirian treats patients based not only on his extensive experience but also on the published research from other experts.

 Mouth, nose, and throat anatomical chart for sleep apnea surgery


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