Nasal & Sinus Center

New Treatment Options

How will I be diagnosed?

Ask your doctor to assess your situation. Typically, an overnight sleep test is the accepted method of evaluating breathing patterns and identifying possible sleep disturbances, such as obstructive sleep apnea. After a careful review of your medical history, your physician will discuss the diagnostic alternatives available and recommend the best test for you.

How can I be treated?

There are a number of alternatives. Somnoplasty is a new minimally invasive treatment that reduces and stiffens tissues obstructing the upper airway. There are other approaches such as nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) that require wearing a facial mask every night, or conventional surgery that can be performed to enlarge the airway.

What is radio frequency of the base of tongue?

For obstructive sleep apnea, the Somnoplasty procedure uses low-power, low-temperature radiofrequency energy to treat a well-defined area in the tongue. The procedure takes place under local anesthesia and typically takes 30 to 45 minutes. Radiofrequency energy is delivered beneath the surface layer of the tongue. The treated tissue is heated just enough to create an area of coagulation. Over the next three to eight weeks the treated tissue is naturally removed from the body, reducing the volume and stiffening the area to keep the airway open during sleep.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that results from the partial or total obstruction of the upper airway during sleep. When tissue in the back of the mouth, throat, and/or nose obstructs airflow during sleep, patients suffer an apnea (total interruption of the flow of air to the lungs for at least ten sounds) or a hypopnea (partial interruption of airflow). When this occurs, the body responds by interrupting sleep to restart breathing.

Is obstructive sleep apnea dangerous to my health?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious disorder that can have a long-term impact on your health. Because obstructive sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing several times an hour during sleep, oxygen levels in your blood drop, forcing your heart to work harder. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and arrhythmias, and impaired daytime functioning.