Vetting Out Doctors Abroad--Surgical Teams--for Reconstructive Jaw Surgery to Deal with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Please Advise?

My pulmonary specialists in LA neglected to tell me about the very high success rate of reconstructive jaw surgery to treat obstructive apnea. They did not tell me to make a good faith effort at CPAP titration, but to fail, if I wanted my insurance to cover surgery. I would have wanted surgery. I had FESS in 1995 and have had no sinus infections since. Now that my ins. won't cover the surgery, I am going abroad. What would you do in addition to collecting CVs and interviewing the surgical team?

Doctor Answers 4


I agree with others here who have recommended staying in the U.S.  There are many options in LA and California for great surgeons.  If you have any complications or need follow up care, it would not be difficult to get to your doctor(s).  However, to answer your question I would ask the surgeons how many procedures they do per year, how they do their set up (orthodontics), what the treatment timeline would be like, and what the cost is.In asia there are many excellent teams - one who comes to mind is Yu-Ray Chen of Chang Gung Craniofacial Center in Taiwan.  There are many in China and Korea as well.

Finding a maxillofacial surgeon who specializes in sleep apnea treatment

Maxillomandibular advancement for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is the most effective operation for reducing the apnea hypopnea index and improving cognition associated with OSA. I would only consider a surgeon who specializes in OSA surgery and MMA to evaluate.

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Surgical Options for severe sleep apnea

You want to do research closer to home.  There are teams of surgeons that work together doing high level MMA surgery in Los Angeles.  Our group works closely with Maxillofacial surgeons and prosthedontists to provide the highest level of surgical care for severe sleep apnea patients that cannot tolerate cpap.

Marc M. Kerner, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Going abroad for jaw surgery ... #RealSelf100

Hello there,
Before choosing to go abroad for major jaw surgery, I would encourage you to explore dentists in the USA that provide oral sleep apnea devices.  They look and feel kind of like a mouth guard and they are worn at bedtime.  They re-position your jaw to allow unobstructed airflow.  
With that said, I would agree that some things may be okay to go abroad and get, like a breast reduction or enlargement, or minor plastic surgery.  However, to have major jaw surgery in a foreign, you are risking a lot.  Aside for the obvious risks, like increased chance of a nosocomial hospital infections and the greater mortality and morbidity rates, you should realize that sometimes these jaw surgeries need to be redone or adjusted by the doctor.  You don't want to have to fly back and forth to another country, just to keep getting follow-up surgeries.  Another thing is that in the USA, if a doctor botches a surgery, he/she and be sued, but in other countries, suing doctors is extremely difficult.  Threat of lawsuits keep USA docs less likely to take big risks on patients that are otherwise bad candidates for surgery.  Just something to consider.  Good luck and I hope this helps. Follow me if you have more questions.
Sarah Thompson, DMD
Real Self 100

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