Dr Love has recently returned to
Christchurch after an 18 month fellowship in Australia. Her fellowship, under Professor MacKay in
paediatric and adult sleep medicine and surgery, saw her involved in a
multi-disciplinary team which assessed around 60 sleep patients a week, and she
carried out over 60 upper airway reconstructions in sleep patients. She is currently part of a multi-national
research group across sleep medicine and surgery. As an Indigenous doctor, her research
interests lie in delivery of care to Maori, and she is an advocate for women in
The Direction of Sleep Surgery in New Zealand
Introduction: Sleep as a discipline was initially the
domain of psychiatry, then neurology and is now thought to be mostly in the
respiratory realm. The role of the Sleep Surgeon is currently largely confined
to addressing sleep breathing disorders, in the context of failed medical
management. Most sleep surgeons work in isolation, outside of
multi-disciplinary teams and often without the resources to provide optimal
care to sleep patients.
Aims: This presentation outlines the current
international frameworks within which Sleep Surgeons work. Emphasis is placed
on the multi-disciplinary team, and the role of the Sleep surgeon as physician,
surgeon, researcher and collaborator.
Conclusions: The modern Sleep Surgeon would benefit
working in a multi-disciplinary capacity, have access to adequate resources
such as polysomnography and be familiar with a range of treatment, both
surgical and non-surgical, to provide optimal care to patients with a diagnosis
of sleep disordered breathing.