>>>I have a friend who is going to CA to have a horrid operation to correct sleep apnea.
Here is what I can contribute to your question. People who are overweight tend to also have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is cured by simply losing weight. This was the case for my son. When he went on a strict Paleo diet, he lost 65 lbs. This cured his sleep apnea. He also became so much healthier. Lost his diabetes, & high blood pressure. Losing weight is a cure-all for a Pandoras Box of health problems.
He can get a sleep apnea breathing machine.
He can get a mouth insert at Amazon.Com that forces the lower jaw out a little, thus preventing sleep apnea.
IMO, surgery is too extreme. Be sure he has tried the above before surgery.