Surgical Procedures for Insomnia

Surgical procedures for insomnia are only considered when there is an associated anatomic problem.

If your insomnia is accompanied by loud snoring, or by an inability to breathe adequately while you sleep, your doctor may recommend that you be tested for sleep apnea . If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are nonsurgical treatment approaches. Your doctor may recommend that you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask at night to improve air flow through your mouth and nasal passages.

If conservative measures fail, and your doctor determines that your airway anatomy is part of the problem, a surgical solution may be offered. Surgical solutions depend on your particular anatomy and may include:

  • Removing your tonsils
  • Reconstructing your uvula and palate (structures in your mouth)

Some procedures may be more extensive than others. Talk to your doctor about the best approach for you.


American Sleep Apnea Association. Available at: . Accessed May 15, 2007.

American Sleep Association website. Available at: .

Lam KS, Mok WYW, Cheung MT, et al. Randomised study of three non-surgical treatments in mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. Thorax. 2007;62:354-359.

Li KK. Surgical therapy for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Sem Resp Crit Care Med. 2005;26:80-88.

National Center on Sleep Disorders Research website. Available at: .

Last reviewed May 2007 by Janet H. Greenhut, MD, MPH

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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