Sleep and Breathing Disorders

Sleep and Breathing Disorders Treatments

At UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Sleep and Breathing Disorders Clinic, physicians take advantage of cutting-edge treatments that build on groundbreaking research, and they apply these treatments with a personal focus. 

All patients meet with one of our sleep medicine or breathing disorder clinical providers to formulate a treatment plan based on specific needs and goals. Our sleep specialists will send a report to referring physicians outlining the findings of the diagnostic evaluation and any treatment recommendations.

For clinic appointments, patients should please bring their CPAP machine. We will download the data on the machine in order to monitor compliance. This helps us make the necessary adjustments for treatment and improved quality of life. 

Advanced Treatment for Sleep Apnea

One of the most common sleep disorders is obstructive sleep apnea, which is usually treated with noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation, such as a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machine. 

In these therapies, a mask worn while sleeping applies positive pressure to either splint the upper airway for obstructive sleep apnea or decrease the work of breathing and improve respiratory function. 

People who don’t benefit from CPAP or BiPAP might need surgical treatments such as:

  • Hypoglossal nerve stimulation, a procedure to stimulate the upper airway to effectively open the pharyngeal space to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This device is implanted in a minimally invasive surgical procedure, and it can help people sleep and breathe easier without CPAP therapy. As of March 2017, UT Southwestern became one of only 100 locations worldwide that offers the hypoglossal nerve stimulator procedure.
  • Maxillomandibular advancement, a procedure to bring the lower jaw forward
  • Tonsillectomy, or surgery to remove the tonsils
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, also known as UPPP, a procedure that widens the airway by removing extra tissue in the throat

Some patients also benefit from a mandibular advancement device, which is worn in the mouth to effectively treat sleep disordered breathing. 

Breathing Disorders

For impaired lung function due to a neuromuscular disorder, UT Southwestern offers advanced therapies and pulmonary rehabilitation services. Our pulmonologists work closely with patients to address any symptoms related to restrictive lung disease. 

Treatments for breathing problems related to neuromuscular disorders are based on the disorder that is causing them. Treatment includes BiPAP therapy to support respirations, an airway clearance device to assist with cough and chest wall mobility, and tracheostomy with home mechanical ventilation.