Its not my intended subject matter, I have no expertise in this field. Still, I went through the experience, and given that I want to write about things that people may experience this seems like a good one. Warning, this is long and maybe a little graphic for some.
Firstly, I suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. I had a pretty high Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), which is the number of Apnea/Hypopnea events that occur per hour. My AHI was a tick over 80 per hour. To give you context, severe is considered to be anything over 30, moderate is 15-29, mild is 5-14 and none/minimal is 0-4. These numbers were determined via a sleep study, in which you’re wired up and they check readings of things like AHI, Oxygen Saturation and a raft of other measurements.
I got sent to a Otolaryngologist, or Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) specialist, to investigate my ability to breathe and any inhibitors. As it turns out, I had oversized tonsils, a severely deviated septum and enlarged turbinates. Basically my nasal passages were a series of sharp S bends which had airflow obstructions (the turbinates function as airflow control and humidifier, but they were oversized), with my throat passages being smaller than they should be.
As a result, I needed to get a Tonsillectomy, Septoplasty and Turbinoplasty. This would remove the tonsils, cut away part of the deviated septum to straighten it out and removal of small amounts of turbinates tissue to reduce the size of them. This is considered routine surgery, so I opted to have all done simultaneously – the combination of these requires you to be put under General Anaesthetic (GA). The involvement of obstructive sleep apnea combined with the family history of diabetes, heart disease and a raft of other things meant that it was critical for me to get these procedures done.
The next part is pretty much what happened, and is also for anyone else who’s looking to undergo the procedures so they understand what they’re likely to be in for. This is probably more applicable for the Australian medical system, but it should be relatively adaptable to other countries. [Read more…]