History & Physical Exam
Dr. Parker will take a thorough history, to learn about your sleep disordered breathing problem, as well as your overall health history. Specific questions will be asked to determine the way that your problem is affecting you (and perhaps your significant other). If you have had a sleep study, this will be important to understanding the severity of your problem and guide further evaluation and treatment. Dr. Parker will perform a thorough head and neck examination to assess your nasal breathing, facial structure, and the anatomy of your mouth and throat.
After Dr. Parker performs the history and physical exam, office endoscopy will likely be performed. This will include a small amount of numbing medication in your nose to allow for comfortable placement of a small (spaghetti-sized) scope that looks at your nose and throat. This is essential to determining areas that might be causing your snoring and/or sleep apnea. This examination take approximately 30 seconds to complete.
A sleep study is an overnight exam that tests your breathing during sleep. It called a polysomnogram, or PSG, when done in a lab, or a home sleep test (or HST), when done at home. If you have not had a sleep study, have one that is from many years ago, or have had some change that might affect snoring or sleep apnea (weight loss or gain for example), then Dr. Parker will arrange for a new study for you so that accurate information can help guide treatment.
While anatomic blockage can be seen in the clinic, some of the areas in our throat might not collapse unless you are asleep! Dr. Parker is one of the first and very few surgeons in Indiana to perform sleep endoscopy. This brief, diagnostic procedure involves a small amount of sedation in an operating room to reach an appropriate stage of sleep. A a scope can be carefully placed to visualize the throat and identify specific areas of collapse. The exam is painless, and patients go home immediately after the procedure, which takes about 20 minutes to perform. Sleep endoscopy allows Dr. Parker to determine your specific site of collapse and to create the most appropriate treatment options that target your specific collapse pattern. Sleep endoscopy is not necessary for all patients, particularly patients who snore without sleep apnea.