Christian: I am Christian Roth and I live in San Jose, California.
Over the years, I've really struggled with getting a good night's sleep, so I'd sleep eight to nine hours, but still feel terrible the next day. There was this fog or a cloud over me.
Liza: I tried to do a lot of different techniques to, you know, make our bedroom more relaxing for him to sleep in. Nothing really worked
Christian: So, it came to the point where, I stopped breathing when I sleep.
Liza: I would hear him snore, and then just all of a sudden, stop, and there would be no noise. And then, probably a few seconds later, you'd hear this loud exhale. Just hearing him stop breathing like that, really scared me.
Christian: The next morning she said, "You need to do something about this."
I went to Stanford for a consultation, and they immediately signed me up for a sleep study. The results weren't good. So, I had a very severe sleep apnea.
Severe sleep apnea means you stop breathing "X" amount of times per hour. So, in my case, I stopped almost every minute.
Dr. Capasso: In a younger gentleman with a higher blood pressure, sleep apnea is something that needs to be investigated.
Patients with moderate to severe Obstruction Sleep Apnea have two to four times
higher chance of having a heart attack or a stroke and around five to seven times more chance of having recurring car accidents because of attention failures.
Christian: So, I went in for a follow-up and they actually used this sophisticated camera to look inside my throat; and it turned out that I have like very severe blockage.
Dr. Capasso: Mr. Roth was someone who had bigger tonsils, deviated septum and hypertrophic turbinates.
Dr. Capasso: For most adults we start with the CPAP. CPAP is the acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Basically, it is a device that you use a mask and it splints the airway open so it stops obstructing during sleep.
Unfortunately, around half of the people, despite all best efforts, cannot use the machine.
Christian: I tried the CPAP machine for about four to five months. I was still unable to sleep through the night.
Dr. Capasso: That's when I saw that, given his age, his body mass index, his anatomic structure, he would be a very good candidate for surgery.
Christian: Dr. Capasso was pretty confident that this would help me out, so the first thing he recommended was to obviously, get the tonsils removed, and then clear up the deviated septum, also, to enlarge my nostrils.
Liza: On surgery day, we were just waiting, waiting for him to come out, and he finally did.
And Dr. Capasso came and spoke to my mother-in-law and I right after. And, you know, the first thing he said was, "When he wakes up, he's going to be in lots of pain." But he said, you know, everything went really well.
Christian: The recovery wasn't too bad, actually.
After I got the splint out of my nostrils, it was just amazing and I was like, "Wow. I didn't know I could breathe like this."
I thought the care at Stanford was topnotch. We know that they are one of the leading facilities in Northern California, so I definitely wanted to take advantage of them. And they took the time to explain everything that was going on. And they were confident that they could beat this. So, that in turn, gave me confidence to follow through.
After the surgery, I had much more endurance; and so, it definitely played a factor in me being able to go on long runs, or you know, play volley ball or soccer.
Liza: The first time I noticed something was different, I actually couldn't sleep because it was so quiet in our room. And I remember just staring at Christian while he was sleeping to see if he was still breathing, because he was so quiet. And, I would like, hold my hand up to his nose just to check. And he was fine, and so, it was just amazing to me that it was so quick. And so, I just knew that, you know, whatever Dr. Capasso did in that surgical room was magic.
Christian: It didn't really sink in until two to three weeks after where I woke up in the morning, I just felt incredible. It was like, "Did I just take sleeping drugs? What happened here?" And like this is my new reality. This is amazing.