Photo Source: ANI
Sleep deprived Indians leading compromised lives: Dr Vikas Agarwal
New Delhi, December 4, 2023: India has over 100 million patients with sleep apnea. They are shunted out of productive lives! Lack of sleep is one of the most important non-communicable diseases (NCDs) of modern times. Yet, people are largely unaware that surgical relief is available.
Gone are the days when snoring was considered something to be laughed at. Snoring ( a type of disordered breathing), is estimated to affect 45% of adults occasionally and 25% regularly.
A symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), today it is estimated today that 'lack of sleep' costs nations billions of dollars in GDP.
Sleep apnea compromises quality of life in a very substantial way. Young individuals with sleep apnea may experience excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and mood disturbances.
The condition can hinder academic as well as professional performance. While obesity remains a significant risk factor, other factors such as genetics, craniofacial structure and lifestyle contribute to its prevalence among the young.
Thankfully, advancements in medicine have made surgeries effective in such cases, because the 'cause' is often structural, related to the nose or throat.
Dr Vikas K. Agrawal who has been studying 'sleep, snoring and sinus' for over two decades, has recently published a landmark paper with Rahul R. Gupta about a new surgical technique called 'Barbed Suspension Bridge Pharyngoplasty' that can provide long term results.
This is used in cases where surgeons treat the collapse of the middle part of the throat( behind the mouth), which causes obstruction in the airway.
This study is significant because not just millions of Indians but also patients from the Middle East often look at Indian doctors for relief from sleep apnea. At a recent conference in Kuwait, prominent names like Prof. Claudio Vicini and Prof. Yasin Bhagat also spoke about advancements in sleep surgery, along with Dr Vikas Agarwal. Shripad Naik, India's Union Minister of State for Tourism recently said that India received 1.4 million medical tourists in FY 22/23. The break up across disciplines is not known but ENT-related disorders are one the major reasons for this travel, especially from the Middle East.
"The new technique is much superior to previous techniques like radio-frequency ablation and Plasma/Coblation technique," explains Dr. Vikas Agrawal, widely considered the 'father of sleep surgery in India. "Wherever allergies are common, obesity is common, and immunity is compromised, people are more prone to sleep apnea."
Much effort will be needed to enhance our understanding of 'sleep' and sleep related complications in the times to come, including safe and bloodless approaches to tonsil and adenoid surgeries involving the base tongue and epiglottis.
The world's top ENT surgeons today concur that when done right, sleep surgery can be the best option to tackle sleep apnea, providing renewed hope and a lifeline to a better quality of life for young and middle-aged adults.
(ADVERTORIAL DISCLAIMER: The above press release has been provided by ATK. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of the same)