1. How did you get envolved in OSA field?
I have met Prof. Claudio Vicini when I was a medical student and since the 90s I followed him at the beginning of the Forlì Sleep Apnea Program.
2. How is this work in conjunction with your speciality training?
I have been lucky because I had my residency at Pavia University where there was a special program for Sleep Apnea. Unfortunately, even in 2022 there are only few universities in Italy where there is a focused program on Sleep Apnea. In the last 5 years some Clinical Directors are working for organizing special program on this topic that could be very interesting for young specialist.
3. How do you see ideal collaboration between doctors of surgical and non-surgical specialities?
Collaboration is always well accepted in every field of medicine. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to work with great anesthesiologists and pneumologists. I would like to remember in particular Dr. Marcello Bosi, a very smart pneumologist, that has taught to our ENT group the fundamental of Sleep Medicine and we have showed him our sleep endoscopies. Together we have improved our knowledge much more than working alone. Thank you again to everybody I have met during my professional life because we have supported each other day by day.
4. What kind of problems you encounter at your practice?
The main problems are to find space in operating theather for performing sleep surgery because other kind of surgeries such as oncology, rhinology and otology have usually priority and Health System Reimbusement is often very low or nonexistent such as for sleep endoscopy.
5. You are alse an experienced instructor for robotic surgery; is there still a place for it to evolve?
Robotic surgery is the best tool for approaching tongue base. We live at the beginning of “robotic era” and in the future there will be many robotic platforms that will overcome some problems we have now: robotic instruments size, cost of disposable devices and possibility to have available a robotic machine.
5. By which means do you evaluate the success of your work?
Any kind of improvment we provide to our patients is a success. It is important to remember that in this field of medicine many patients are undiagnosed or untreated. We have to know all the possible therapies, surgical or non-surgical, to give the possibility to our patients to choose the best and the more suitable for them.
6. What would you recommed to young specialist who want to gain experience in the field surgery for OSA?
Start as soon as possible, because you have the possibility to learn all the anatomical areas of ENT facing patient affected by OSA. There is an incredible number of patients and you can follow this patients both in public or in private practice. Being a surgeon doesn’t mean that you are not a sleep doctor, for that reason start studying sleep medicine, sleep studies and sleep endoscopy. Diagnosis is crucial in Sleep Apnea.
7. How do you see OSA diagnostics and treatment in the future?
I see sleep studies and other kind of studies such as virtual sleep endoscopy performed at home. In the future thanks to such technologies our life will be better.
8. Can you name an article or two that you have read recently and have influenced your understanding of OSA diagnostics and treatment?
Bosi M, De Vito A, Eckert D, Steier J, Kotecha B, Vicini C, Poletti V. Qualitative Phenotyping of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Its Clinical Usefulness for the Sleep Specialist. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 20;17(6): 2058. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17062058