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David Licauco to undergo surgery for sleep apnea this April

By Brooke Villanueva Published Apr 20, 2024 12:12 pm

David Licauco revealed he’s scheduled for operation later this month for sleep apnea, which causes him to stop breathing while asleep.

In an interview with the press earlier this week, the actor—who has been dealing with the condition for 12 years now—shared that his operation is finally pushing through on April 30. "Sana gumaling, ‘di ba? Kasi hirap na hirap na ako eh," he said.

David said he opted for a minimally invasive surgery that will be done with radio frequency. In this procedure, the physician "directs small amounts of radiofrequency heat energy into the muscle at the back of the tongue, subsequently shrinking and tightening the tongue tissues and creating more space for breathing."

When asked why it took him so long to have it treated, David said he didn’t know much about his options back then. “Before, ang alam ko kasi ‘yung operation, dapat talagang one month ‘yung recovery," he explained. "But when I got myself checked up a week before I left for Canada, sinabi na meron palang procedure na pwedeng 15 minutes lang tapos yung down time, one day lang. Hopefully, makatulong."

David first opened up about his sleep disorder in February last year. "It's scary. It's scary talaga, 'yung sleep apnea. Basically my breathing stops about 30 seconds straight, about 24 times in an hour, when I'm sleeping," he said in a GMA-7 interview, adding that he was planning to get an operation "soon."

Health website Mayo Clinic refers to sleep apnea as a "potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts."

According to the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS), symptoms of sleep apnea include breathing stopping and starting, making gasping/snorting/choking noises, waking up a lot, and loud snoring.

"Sleep apnea needs to be treated because it can lead to more serious problems," the NHS wrote on its website listing the following as examples: high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression or mood changes, motor vehicle collisions, and work-related injuries.

Aside from surgery, treatments can also include lifestyle changes, a CPAP machine, and a mandibular advancement device.