A Patient’s Sleep Apnea Journey
Mr. Michael Munsey knew all too well the symptoms of sleep apnea—loud snoring, lack of energy during the day, morning headaches, and restless sleep. Unfortunately, he had been struggling with the condition for years and was finding little success in treatment. His lack of success was not for a lack of effort. In fact, under the care of his ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon, he underwent sinus surgery hoping to provide some symptomatic relief. Naturally, he was disappointed when the symptoms persisted; and like many who suffer from the condition, his everyday bedtime ritual involved using his continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. The CPAP device is a face mask that provides a constant positive pressure, keeping the tongue away from the back of the throat passage and one’s airway wide open. While the CPAP was effective, sleeping with an appliance on your face every night is less than desirable, and Michael was still in search of a long-term solution. After further consolation with his ENT, he was referred to Dr. Grant McGann, believing that perhaps Dr. McGann’s experience in dealing with this condition could provide an alternative perspective.
Toward A Solution
While Michael was anxious to make some forward progress on his condition, he also considers himself a very careful guy. In other words, he likes to double check almost everything…including his ENT’s advice. Before coming to see him in person, he wanted to know more about Dr. McGann. What made him a specialist? How can an oral surgeon help with sleep apnea? What could he expect from the visit? To help fill in his database of questions, he looked over Dr. McGann’s website to check his credentials, evaluate his experience, meet the staff virtually, and get an overall sense of what was ahead of him. As there was every indication that Dr. McGann might be able to help, the appointment was made with little delay.
On the day of the initial consultation, Michael noted how he was impressed with the office environment, and particularly the kindness of the staff—“very nice folks”, were his exact words. While the kindness of the staff no doubt made the visit easier, he was naturally anxious to hear what Dr. McGann would have to say about his condition. Fortunately, after what he described as a “very thorough” consultation with Dr. McGann, he was pleased to hear that surgical intervention could help. He learned that sleep apnea has a number of contributing factors, and Dr. McGann felt that repositioning the bones of the jaw to increase the size of his airway (orthognathic surgery) could make a positive impact on his condition.
The day for Michael’s jaw surgery was set and the case was scheduled at Sharp Memorial Hospital, directly across the street from the McGann Facial Design office. While McGann Facial Design performs the majority of operations in the comfort of their office, a few procedures routinely require general anesthesia as well as a 1-2 night stay; and are therefore scheduled at Sharp Memorial. From a convenience and general safety perspective, this was comforting to Michael, as he had already undergone one previous surgery in his journey to treat his sleep apnea. Despite his natural nerves, Michael noted that he felt very much at ease the day of his operation and when asked why, he indicated that Dr. McGann and his entire staff had essentially prepared him for every step of this journey. Their attention to every detail, from preoperative instructions to a thorough informed consent was exactly what he needed.
According to Michael, this commitment to caring did not end after the operation and subsequent discharge from the hospital. A personal follow-up call from Dr. McGann himself was noteworthy as was the office’s commitment to, what seemed to be, addressing every facet of his care. In the case of Mr. Munsey, this patient commitment became particularly important as he unfortunately developed a post-operative infection. Was this a disruption in his recovery? Yes. Was this a surprise? No, because Dr. McGann had informed him of the small risk of infection prior to the case and that such an infection, if it were to develop, would be treated. Armed with information and antibiotics, dealing with the issue was made significantly easier.
Now six (6) months removed from surgery, so far, so good for Michael as it relates to sleep apnea. No more CPAP. No more snoring. Mr. Munsey is still a careful guy, but he has no doubts now that Dr. Grant Mcgann and McGann Facial Design know their stuff.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment by the proper specialist. If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea, call McGann Facial Design today for a consultation.
Click Here to read more information from the Mayo Clinic on the symptoms, causes, risk factors, complications, tests, diagnosis, and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.