Tongue Base Reduction
While there are many tissues in the throat that can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea, the tongue is a major factor. The base of the tongue sits directly next to the windpipe, making it very easy for the tongue to relax and fall into the airway, preventing air from entering. In certain patients, the base of the tongue is overly large, causing them to be more prone to sleep apnea. For such patients, tongue base reduction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to effectively reduce the size of the tongue, relieving the symptoms of sleep apnea.
How it works
In order to access the base of the tongue, Dr. Aminpour first makes an incision in the center of the tongue, as this is the easiest and least invasive way to access the tongue base. Once this incision is made, he inserts a special wand until it reaches the base of the tongue. Using this wand, base of the tongue is then reduced through a process called coblation, which is a non-heat-driven method of dissolving the tissue. After the tongue base is dissolved, Dr. Aminpour can remove it with a catheter.
Following the procedure, most patients report less pain than a regular tonsillectomy. The recovery period usually lasts about ten days, with patients able to resume normal talking and swallowing functions after that time. Tongue base reduction is performed under general anesthesia.
At the office of Dr. Shervin Aminpour, we welcome all patients suffering from sleep disorders. We understand that it can cause a severe disruption in your daily life, and we are eager to help. If you have any questions or would like to set an appointment, please call our office.