Compliance is one of the biggest challenges in treating obstructive sleep apnea. The CPAP mask is uncomfortable for many patients, while others find this common treatment option downright scary. Fortunately, the Snoring and Sleep Institute of Atlanta offers a number of sleep apnea mask alternatives for patients with OSA and chronic snoring. One of the most popular solutions is ablation of the tongue.
What is Ablation of the Tongue?
Ablation of the tongue is a minimally invasive procedure that uses gentle radio waves to remove excess skin from the base of the tongue. This enlarges the airway, providing more room for air to enter and helping to prevent the tongue from partially or fully blocking the airway. The procedure is an excellent sleep apnea mask alternative for patients whose symptoms are primarily due to tongue obstruction.
Advantages of this procedure include:
- It is performed from the comfort and convenience of the doctor’s office.
- The procedure takes less than an hour from start to finish. In most cases, you can walk out of the office in less than 45 minutes.
- There is very little discomfort and most patients are back to normal activity and diet by the next day.
- The results are long-term, making it an appealing CPAP alternative.
- The problem area is the only section treated and the surrounding tissue is not affected.
There are two different types of base of tongue ablation procedures – Celon Method and Somnoplasty. Both methods are offered at the Snoring and Sleep Institute of Atlanta and the appropriate option will be determined by your physician based on your individual needs.
1) Celon Method
The Celon Method uses targeted thermotherapy to get rid of excess tissue at the tongue base. A local anesthetic is applied and a thin applicator that emits radio waves is inserted to target the problem area. The skin that is removed is eventually reabsorbed into your body. As a result, the volume of the targeted area is reduced, and the airway is given greater room for air to circulate.
Like the Celon Method, Somnoplasty is performed in the office, using a local anesthetic. The radio waves utilized in this procedure apply heat to create several heat lesions. Once the lesions heal, the excess skin is reabsorbed back into the body. The procedure itself lasts about 45 minutes, with only about ten minutes of that being used to apply the radio waves. Recovery time is quick and discomfort is minimal.
Why Consider Ablation of the Tongue?
Snoring caused by sleep apnea is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. This disorder has numerous associated health risks, with potential consequences ranging from lost sleep to heart attacks. Nevertheless, many patients find their medically prescribed CPAP mask uncomfortable and inconvenient to wear. Not only is it a pain to travel with, it can also produce a myriad of complaints including skin irritation, dry mouth and the sensation of being suffocated while wearing it. By opting for a sleep apnea mask alternative, you can treat the symptoms of OSA and snoring at their source, achieving long-term relief and avoiding all the discomfort and inconveniences of CPAP.
Looking for a Sleep Apnea Mask Alternative in Atlanta?
The Snoring and Sleep Institute of Atlanta understands the problems faced by patients with sleep apnea and chronic snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more than an individual problem, it’s a condition that affects the entire family – family members are subject to worrying about the patient’s health and suffering from sleep disturbance, among other things. Our practice is dedicated to helping patients and their families enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Since the causes of snoring vary from person to person, the first step to determining the best sleep apnea mask alternative for your particular condition is to schedule an evaluation with a sleep apnea specialist. Contact us today for an evaluation with Dr. Pradeep Sinha to start your journey on the road to quiet, sleep-filled nights that leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day each morning.