Typically people with OSA are diagnosed by a sleep/respiratory physician and are treated with a nasal mask that delivers pressurised air to stop the collapse of their upper airways. This is called CPAP.
CPAP is tolerated by most people, however a significant minority do not manage to tolerate it and end up not using their device. This therefore leads to the loss of the protection it affords.
In moderate to severe cases of OSA a surgical solution may be best. The surgery involved usually requires advancement of one or both of the jaws so that the upper airway (where most commonly the obstruction occurs) is enlarged and is less likely to collapse and cause cessation of breathing. This type of surgery is effective in treating over 90% of people with OSA and is more effective than soft tissue surgery to the palate or throat. The aim of the surgery is to allow the patient to be independent of their CPAP machine.