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Saturday, 04 September 2010

Dr Goh Yau Hong, Mount Elizabeth Hospital

No matter how many times I experienced it, the rock star in me never gets tired of seeing my name on a placard.

7 months after my initial consultation, I finally found time to peel myself away from my business to travel to Singapore again.

My purpose was to visit my ENT Specialist, Dr Goh Yau Hong of Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

I made my doctor's appointment through ParkwayHealth in Kuching, and they actually arranged somebody to wait for me at the airport terminal. Next thing I know, I was riding an electric buggy through immigration into a waiting limousine.

Dammit, I didn't even had time to stop for duty free.

I forgot to let ParkwayHealth know I was only there for my snoring treatment. The hospital provide this service for the critically ill, which I obviously was not. But hey, the buggy service is provided free of charge so why not make use of it right? :D

The arranged transport took me all the way to Mount Elizabeth, located in the vicinity of Orchard Road. As soon as I arrived the hospital, a concierge helped me with my luggage (as if I were staying in a hotel) and I was directed to the Admissions counter.

This is where I would be staying for the night.

Unfortunately, disaster struck.

Apparently, all the standard wards were booked out!

It must have been the high season to get sick in Singapore, but the hospital ran out of single room for me to sleep in.

Lucky for me - they promptly upgraded me to an Executive Ward at no extra cost.

I later found out that I was in same floor where royalty usually stays when they come for treatment. Tried my luck to wonder around, but don't seem to see any Sultan or princess.

Hospitals are not my favourite place to stay overnight. But I gotta say, the room I was staying at Mount Elizabeth Hospital feels more like a hotel than a hospital.

They got everything from flat screen TV, minibar and in-room WiFi internet. On top of that, they even serve food that does not classify as the stereotypical hospital food good food - like keropok and cheesecake.

But enough about the hotel hospital room.

The reason I had to stay overnight at the hospital was because I was instructed to go through a Sleep Test.

The test is to measure whether or not I suffer from a condition called "Obstuctive Sleep Apnea Syndrome" - a side-effect of which is my very loud snoring.

Apnea is more a condition more serious than just a simple snoring.

Apnea is when I completely STOP BREATHING during my sleep. In mild cases, all it means is that I will wake up groggy and tired. But the worst case scenario is that I might get heart attack, stroke or in extreme cases - death during sleep.

How tragic would I be if I were to die not because of something fun, but due to lack of oxygen during my sleep.

Initially, I was adamant that I did not have sleep apnea. From what I know, it occurs mostly in older and heavily obese males. I thought I was neither, but I was just being delusional.

Dr Goh insisted that I must do the test before he could treat me. Being a good boy, I had to go along with it.

When the results finally came out, I was in for a rude awakening.

It was measured that during my sleep, I STOPPED BREATHING COMPLETELY on average - 17 times an hour. Overall, I was taking in only 78% of the oxygen I was supposed to breathe in.

It was not just loud snoring I am suffering from. Clinically, I am diagnosed as having MODERATE OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA.

That is some startling statistic to look at.

Dr Goh was as blunt and as straightforward as he could be. He advised me that there are two things I could do to lift me out of this nightmare that has been haunting me both physically and socially since young.

First, I must make make an effort to reduce my weight. Doing so will free up my vocal chords when I sleep.

Second, he'll perform turbinate reduction. By removing the flesh blocking my nose, I will be able to breathe in a lot more oxygen during my sleep.

I went ahead with the procedure. The thing only lasted 15 minutes and was no more painful than a dental surgery.

There was bleeding for 3 weeks after that, but that's normal because flesh that was microwaved, cooked and fell off.

But after the whole thing was over, I took the first deep breathe through my nose - and it felt... refreshing!

It's as if for the past 28 years, I had been living with a blocked nose. When I'm suddenly able to breathe in more air than normal, and that II no longer have to open my mouth to breathe... suddenly it felt different.

The gush of fresh oxygen going through my nose and into my lungs was reassuring. I breathed like I never breathed before. And it felt real good.

That was only one part of my snoring treatment sorted out. The other part - the more difficult part - was the issue with my weight.

I am overweight. I had initially lost a huge amount of weight since my last marathon training.

But since then I had been travelling every weekend, working through day and night. Unknowingly I was transformed back into a blimp. I was so much into running my fitness centre that I wasn't even participating in it myself.

But one good thing about my new nasal passage - now that I can breathe in more oxygen - my stamina has gone up by heaps.

I'm so much more alert in my daily activity now. Gone were the days where I'd run out of breath from climbing up and down the staircase.

I haven't stopped snoring completely yet because my excess weight is still there. Obviously, I still have a long way to go.

But my ultimate goal was to become like this other one of Dr Goh Yau Hong's patient.

This is Mr Brown. He saw Dr Goh and got so motivated that he lost 16kg in four months, through nothing but diet, exercise and hard work.

He no longer snores now when he sleeps.

69 Comments

Unregistered

I'm sure u can do it like mrbrown! Both of u r my fave bloggers! Thanks for the elaborate post as well. I'm sure most of us r now more aware of this disorder.

Unregistered

dancing is the fastest way to lose weight. if u ever dance . :D

Unregistered

All these tests and treatment can be done at either the SGH, or one of the private hospitals. Why Singapore?

And he didn't ask you to use CPAP?

Unregistered

why singapore? i think quite obvious rite?

Unregistered

I guessed its all about the professionalism of each specialist that handles patient well not pressing much on worthwhile pricing / cost incurred rather than going through repeated tests killing patient time with a longer procedure ended up to pay a higher cost locally as my relatives have undergone with a sad face.........-

Unregistered

Just curious, why you would like to know where Kenny did his treatment?

Unregistered

Hi and I thinked Mr.Sia did a good job by letting us newer generation of ages knew of such less pain more gain at a worthy pricing to pay with a shorter time of diagnosis and treatment done at no bargaining points. Thumbs up Mr.Sia as I am a medical student and am glad to have such sharing tips. keep it up as a good samarithans are hard to find......congrats men..........

Unregistered

Hi kenny, was it a real painful experience with nose bled for the period that u mentioned?? How are you feeling now and still making ZZZZZZZ sounds ??? Glad to know more as I am a medical student doing my studies as an ENT huh and wished myself be as successful like your hands-on Dr.Goh. From soon-to-be ENT, Penang.

Unregistered

You sure can do it in your lose weight....Good luck!!

Unregistered

Keep it cool and I bet you can made it . Good luck then!!!!!!

Unregistered

good luck and stay healthy :)

Unregistered

whoa kenny sia go for treatment is like royalty like dat... i also want!

Dropped by from LukeYisHandsome.com

Unregistered

Wow, I never knew that snoring problems could be so...extreme. Good luck for the weight loss! You already have a fitness centre there, so make use of it! :P

Unregistered

so it's as simple as tat.... u just need to lost yo weight?

Unregistered

may i know how much is the whole procedure cost ??

Unregistered

Dear Kenny, can you kindly share with us on the treatment cost that you have enjoyed with a kind of royalty stay as read. Wah lau.... you are such a king, huh

Unregistered

HI Kenny,
It's good to hear that you are sleeping so much better now.

Unregistered

wow~ good luck in losing your weight :D :D

Unregistered

at least you've done the frist step.. hope the 2nd step would be successful too! take care!

Unregistered

Is it possible to have apnea, but not snoring?

Unregistered

Kenny, may i know how much is the whole procedure cost in SGD? I think im having same problem like you. One side of my nose is block since i`m young and i snore very loud at nite till i injure my chords. As got blood in my throat next morning. Appreciate the reply.

Hope you cured ur snoring problem. Cheers

Unregistered

Kenny, are you facing this problem as I am encountering every morning? I sneezed (more than 10times) every morning when woke up until my nose is just like a clown with watery eyes. Sometimes I felt nose blocked after that... maybe you can share a bit.Thanks.

Unregistered

haiz, i have same problem with u, just that i don't have money to do this medical treatment. been suffering almost 10 years ~

Unregistered

all the best in your quest to becoming a slimmer and healthier kenny sia!:D take care!:)

Unregistered

This is an interesting entry!!! I enjoyed it very much.

Unregistered

Wow, congratulation on the unblocked nose and good luck in getting your weight down

Unregistered

Glad that ur nose n breathing prob is ok ald..didn't mean to be offensive, but yea a lot of obese male do have sleep apnea, all the best on the losing weight part :)

Unregistered

Kenny! Spend more time jogging in ur gym! hihi

Unregistered

shit, i think i have this snoring problem as well..... i'm scared now... T__T

Unregistered

Dear Kenny..

Glad to know that the procedure went well.. Losing weight should be a breeze with the gym at your door step! :)

Unregistered

I might have the same problem haha. When I am asleep, I breath through my mouth and it sounds like whistling (not snoring).

May I also know the consultation cost to determine if I have the same problem?

And most of the time I wake up feeling heavy headed even though I slept for 8 hours.

Thanks Kenny.

Unregistered

Hey kenny, do you have Parkway Health Kuching office contact number for more informations as you did mention about your appointment was handled by them connecting you with Dr. Goh????? Pls share lah...........

Unregistered

hey, I have called them before to enquire about something. u can reach them at 343 778. its a hotline if i m not mistaken. just call them, the staff are very helpful. :) hope this helps people who have queries here..

Unregistered

Hi whoever is this, thanks for the number.

Unregistered

Glad to have the number as my wife is suffering from another diagnosis that have assist my wife to a very caring Gynae at Parkway Hospital whereby my wife got a surprised immediate operation and recovering very fast. Happy that I follow your blog which connects my wife to this patient assistance centre in Kuching, not for ENT case.My wife wants to thank the staffs for the kind, fast connecting services. god bless you all.

Unregistered

Hi, all. glad that the number helps :) especially not only in ENT services but all sorts of case like the one mentioned earlier regarding Gynae.

Unregistered

Hi kenny,

mind sharing roughly how much was the damage? Probably provide your readers with an indication so we know whether we should get our snoring treated too?

Unregistered

Wondering, besides the bleeding problem which lasted for 3 weeks,

Were there any problems with eating, swallowing vitamins, drinking etc?

Might give better ideas to anyone who's interested to go through the same procedure.

AND:
How painful is a dental surgery anyway? O.o

Unregistered

interesting entry *like like*

quite gross to see the hair..opsie. Glad to know you will participate more in ur gym classes. Have fun!

btw, to other readers whose finance is a concern, do seek SGH. They've really excellent doctors as well as equipments and wards, but maybe not the hotel-like environment.

God bless you Kenny, and all =)

Unregistered

Do you sound any different after surgery??

Unregistered

Kids,
If your parents are as loaded as kenny's, you can have someone holding your dick while you pee if you wish!

Kenny,
Enough of showing off lah. It's overdone.

Unregistered

were you put to 'sleep mode' during the microwave session??

Unregistered

I presume the pictures you put up are all your clinical photographs. The picture of your soft palate shows a lot of redundant mucosa, that maybe the source of your snoring. Have you had sleep endoscopy, where you are artificially induced to sleep, and endoscopy is performed while you are snoring away to determine whether it is your soft palate or epiglottis that causes the noise?

Unregistered

I was amazed that the first half of the photo series were more like going to holiday, turns out to be a hospitalization.

Unregistered

Hi Kenny,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

I have serious snoring problem and my wife has to wake me up few times in the night because I am disturbing her sleep. I feel very bad about it.

I would like to know from your experience two things:

1) How much does the whole operations cost?

2) Do you completely stop snoring or just less?

Appreciate your kind response because I am contemplating to do the same.

thanks, Cheers. James

Unregistered

Hi Kenny,

I'm also interested to know roughly how much does it cost for diagnosis and eventually the operation. I have similiar symptom to you that sometimes I feel as if I do not breath enough oxygen and sometimes awake at night because of lack of breathing. I'm a bit overweight too.

BR,

Clarence.

Unregistered

This post really made me think. I am been having a snoring problem for sometime now and it's getting worse. My wife complains a lot but think I am in denial. I have most of the symptoms you describe and think it's time I had a serious look at it. Will go for a thorough check up when I go back to Malaysia soon.

Unregistered

but i think i was cool with your snoring for all 6 mornings!

Unregistered

Go for it man. If anyone can do it, it's you. Of course, it helps that you own your own damn gym, hur hurrr.

If you do decide to go heavy on the cardio, be careful to not overdo it – max 45 mins a day, alternate high and low impact exercises. Your knees will thank you when you're 50.

Unregistered

Well, I am guessing that Kenny got the treatment free of charge given the amount of coverage he gave him. And I thought it is unethical to advertise medical expertise? I wondered what the Singapore Medical Council will have to say about this.....

Unregistered

Well... everyone should know who kenny is and he don't deserve any free treatment at all judging from his family background. Hey, who ever is that -- pls never leave a lousy comment with a jealous heart as I felt that its sincere piece of his experience to share. from a medical practitioner - on a professional ground status to an honest comment. Should I be in kenny's shoes seeking treatment in Singapore would definitely made me real proud in life. keep it up young men. from penang

Unregistered

My godsister went for a treatment quite similar to this. Instead of cooking ur flesh out, they cut it out.. But yrs after that the flesh grew back.

Did u confirm with the doc that by using microwave, the flesh would not grow back?

It does for everyone who has sinusitis or even symptoms like u.

Rgds,
Jay

Unregistered

nothing BUT diet, exercise and hard work? but that IS everything, dude.

Unregistered

You certainly are brave to undergo this procedure, unlike me.

Unregistered

Hm... I want to go through a sleep test as well. I know my blood profile and also hormone profile already. Next will be genetics profile - saliva test. And, I want to understand my sleep habit as well. Will find a time to do the test.

Unregistered

hi kenny,
seriously please share the cost for the operation?
thanks

Unregistered

Thanks, Kenny, for posting about this. After reading this, I will go for an apnoea test myself. Looks like it's not as funny as some people think it is. I mean, heart attack or stroke when sleeping, gosh!!!

Unregistered

yea.. i din know that snoring will cause death. all these while to me, snoring is normal whereby most people do.

Unregistered

Well for those who still want to know i just went to the clinic 2 days ago and got a check up.

- Check up cost me SGD450 which included 2 meds. Meds was only like SGD50 i think.

- My situation was almost the same as Kenny and doc told me the surgery would cost SGD2000.

So there you have it folks.

Unregistered

Wah! I have no idea Malaysian doctors are so lousy and service so poor until you went all the way to Singapore to get such treatment

Unregistered

Hi Kenny,

A bit outdated on your post but how much does the surgery + sleep study cost? Planning to get my dad checked out as well. Thanks heaps!

Unregistered

This info is helps!!! thanks kenny...

Unregistered

Dear Kenny, so have you completely stopped snoring after this treatment?

Unregistered

hey kenny, i believe i may face the same problem.

will greatly appreciate if you can provide some feedback on your current situation.

thanks!
Mark

Unregistered

That seriously is this kind of a exceptional resource which you merely are supplying and you give it aside for totally free of charge. I located it on Bing

Unregistered

I was just chatting with my coworker about this today at Outback steak house. Don't remember how in the world we landed around the theme in actuality, they brought it up. I do recall eating a superb fruit salad with cranberries on it. I digress

Unregistered

How much cost for whole treatment..

Unregistered

How much cost for whole treatment..

Unregistered

This is really very informative covering all areas and highlights the impacts and effects.

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