The Osgood File. Sponsored in part by Auto Owners Insurance, the No Problem People. Visit AutoOwners.Com. This is Charles Osgood.

If your sleep is interrupted several times a night by a crying baby, a barking dog or anything – you know that you’ll be tired all day the next day.

Well, for Judy Oderwald, it was like that all the time, says our CBS News colleague Manuel Gallegus.

VO – Manuel Gallegus, CBS News Correspondent
“Oderwald was always tired – because, like millions of Americans, she suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. Her airway closed up during sleep, causing her to snore and to stop breathing hundreds of times each night.” (:12)

If you stop breathing, you better wake up and start breathing again – or you’ll die. So, it’s both frightening and exhausting – and can lead to all sorts of other health problems.

But now?

VO – Manuel Gallegus
“Now, a revolutionary new surgery that uses robotic technology is bringing relief to Oderwald and many others.” (:06)

We’ll tell you about it after this…

((( SPOTS )))

Robotic surgery is fairly common in the operating room these days, but only a few doctors in the world are using it to treat sleep apnea.

The surgeon who used it on Judy Oderwald was Dr. Jeffrey Ahn at New York Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical Center.

NAT of Dr. Jeffrey Ahn, surgeon
“That bulk of tissue was just compressing the whole airway.” (:03)

VO – Manuel Gallegus
“Surgeon Jeffrey Ahn is going through the mouth with tiny robotic tools, cutting out excess lymphoid tissue to open up the patient’s airway. The technology lets him operate in a place that until now was difficult to reach with human hands.” (:14)

SOT – Dr. Jeffrey Ahn
“This is really an amazing technology that boosts the ability of the surgeon.” (:05)

VO – Manuel Gallegus
“Doctor Ahn says the surgery is only for those who have tried everything else, from a breathing mask to partial surgeries.” (:07)

So, of the estimated 10 to 12 million people in this country who suffer from sleep apnea, most won’t be candidates for the robotic surgery.

But for Judy Oderwald…

SOT – Judy Oderwald
“Just a new outlook on life.” (:02)

She finally has the energy to read without falling asleep.

SOT – Judy Oderwald
“Now, when I go to bed, I have to fight to go to sleep – (laughs) – where the other time, I would just hit the pillow and that would be it.” (:07)

The Osgood File. Charles Osgood on the CBS Radio Network.

The Osgood File. February 7th, 2012.

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