Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a disorder affecting millions of Australians. It involves airway obstruction during sleep, due to collapse of the airway muscles. OSA can cause excessive tiredness and poor concentration, which has led to motor vehicle accidents. It is also a cause of diabetes, stroke and heart attack. The mainstay of treatment is CPAP, air pressure used to open the airway during sleep. This strategy is not successful for all patients, with surgery providing a suitable alternative, and for select patients, a cure. Sleep surgery involves remodelling the airway to improve airflow. The success of this surgery is dependent on proficiency in highly specialised surgical techniques.
Currently, Australia has a shortage of fellowship trained sleep surgeons. Furthermore, there are limited sleep surgery training opportunities within Australia, and worldwide.
The Stanford Sleep Surgery Fellowship is unparalleled, combining comprehensive training with high level research in this field. I hope to be the first Australian surgeon to undertake this training, and aim to employ and teach the techniques learnt for the benet of Australian OSA sufferers.