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Interview with Dr. Kao About Sleep Apnea

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Medical Minute: 2:30

Dave Kurten:  3WZ’s Medical Minute is brought to you by Mt. Nittany Medical Center;
“Mt. Nittany – life forward.”  We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good health and that’s what we’re going to talk about today – sleep apnea.  Our guest is Dr. Kao; Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon from Mt. Nittany Medical Center.  Thanks for joining us today.

Dr. Kao:  Thank you, Dave.

Dave Kurten:  How is snoring different from sleep apnea?

Dr. Kao:  Essentially, snoring is a symptom; whereas, sleep apnea is the diagnosis for the disease.  40% of heavy snorers will have sleep apnea. 

Dave Kurten:  Why are sleep issues a health risk for people?

Dr. Kao:  Well, sleep apnea is an actual stoppage of the breathing.  When you stop breathing at night and hold your breath, the oxygen in your blood drops.  This increases the stress on the heart because the heart has to pump harder.  So, sleep apnea can actually cause hypertension and it also increases the risk of stroke and heart attack by three times. 

Dave Kurten:  Now what can you, and Mt. Nittany Medical Center, do to help people with sleep issues?

Dr. Kao:  At Mt. Nittany Medical Center we’re using the new technology called Celon.  This essentially is a system that delivers radio frequency waves or microwaves into the tissue, in order to shrink tissue at the back of the throat.  This is also the same technology that’s used to shrink prostates, in men with prostate problems, and also to shrink herniated discs, in people with back problems.  So it’s an old technology that has a new use in the throat to help reduce snoring and sleep apnea. 

Dave Kurten:  Is this a painful procedure and what is the recovery time for this procedure?

Dr. Kao:  Yes, it is somewhat painful but in comparison to traditional surgery for sleep apnea or laser surgery for sleep apnea, this is of minimal discomfort.  The recovery time is usually 1 or 2 days.

Dave Kurten:  And where can someone have this procedure?

Dr. Kao:  The Celon procedure is being preformed at Mt. Nittany Medical Center.

Dave Kurten:  How can people find out more about this procedure at the Mt. Nittany Medical/Surgical Center?

Dr. Kao:  Mt. Nittany Surgical Center is available on the internet at www.surgicalcenter.mtnittany.org and also you can call the telephone number 814-234-6750 at the Mt. Nittany Medical Center.

Dave Kurten:  Dr. Kao, thanks for joining us today. 

Dr. Kao:  Thank you, Dave.

Dave Kurten: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mt. Nittany Medical Center – “Mt. Nittany Life Forward.”


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