Airway analysis is an essential part of diagnostics in maxillofacial surgery, especially in treating sleep-disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea, and other diseases that affect the respiratory system. This analysis helps accurately assess a patient’s airway to determine whether and to what extent a narrowing or blockage could affect breathing.
Methods and techniques
Airway analysis can include various methods, including imaging procedures such as 3D X-rays, for example, digital volume tomography (DVT), computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Sleep endoscopy (DISE) is an excellent method for predicting non-CPAP treatment outcomes. These techniques allow the surgeon to obtain a detailed view of the respiratory tract, including the nose, mouth, throat, and trachea. In some cases, unique airflow or pressure measurements within the respiratory tract can also be carried out.
The analysis of the respiratory tract is of great importance for planning surgical procedures, such as corrections of the jaw or nose. It helps to precisely determine which areas of the airway need to be corrected to ensure optimal breathing. This is particularly important for patients suffering from sleep apnea, as narrowing the airways during sleep can lead to repeated pauses in breathing.