Sleep endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to determine the cause of sleep apnea or snoring. Patients that suffer from sleep apnea may have a blocked or obstructed airway passage and the endoscopy procedure helps doctors to evaluate patient’s breathing and view the affected area to determine the cause of a possible obstruction.
During a sleep endoscopy, patients are sedated, which allows for a more accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea or disruptive snoring. The doctor will insert a small flexible tube with a tiny camera, or an endoscope, into the patient’s nose and will then guide it to view the following areas which may be the cause of an obstruction:
- Behind the palate
- Walls of the throat
- Voice box
- Back of the tongue
In some cases, if an obstruction is found, the doctor may treat the airway obstruction during the sleep endoscopy procedure. After reviewing the results of the sleep endoscopy, a doctor can create an effective treatment plan for the patient’s snoring or sleep apnea.