Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes people to have trouble breathing while they sleep, causing them to snore, wake frequently, or struggle to sleep at all. It can be caused by obesity, large tonsils, jaw misalignments, and more. Orthodontists often treat sleep apnea with various appliances that work to align the jaw. However, it is a little-known fact that sleep apnea can also be caused by a larger tongue, which prevents the proper passage of air. In this case, radiofrequency ablation of the tongue may be the best solution. If you have received unsuccessful sleep apnea treatment, consider scheduling a consultation with our board-certified ear, nose, and throat physician, Dr. David Volpi.
What is radiofrequency ablation of the tongue?
Radiofrequency ablation of the tongue is a minimally-invasive sleep apnea and snoring procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to tighten and shrink the base of the tongue and improve symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. The treatment helps prevent the tongue from blocking the airway while sleeping. This in-office procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes and is performed using local anesthesia.
Why is the ablation of the tongue performed?
Finding out if your tongue is blocking your airways is difficult, as you likely won't be able to tell when you sleep. However, if you notice that you're displaying symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring, waking up suddenly, or tiredness during the day, it is encouraged to visit an expert right away. Dr. Volpi will be able to look at your symptoms, health history, and tongue to determine if ablation of the tongue could benefit you.
What does ablation of the tongue involve?
Radiofrequency ablation of the tongue involves a doctor directing small amounts of targeted radiofrequency energy to the back of the tongue using a non-invasive device. Following treatment, the targeted tissue is tightened and shrinks in size as it heals. As a result, the tongue is less likely to obstruct the airway during sleep. The precision and control afforded by the state-of-the-art technology minimize damage to surrounding tissue and result in faster recovery.
What Is Recovery Like?
After your procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort for the first one to three days. During this time, you can eat soft foods and use ice cubes to lessen discomfort on the tongue and throat. If you're experiencing excessive amounts of pain, you should speak with Dr. Volpi about possible pain medications. Any pain or discomfort should resolve within a few days.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Great clinic for sleep apnea diagnostics. This is my second time around. Sleep apnea experts!”
What are the benefits of undergoing ablation of the tongue?
Undergoing ablation of the tongue with eos sleep specialists results in the following benefits:
- Minimally invasive
- Enlarges the airway
- Less obstruction of the airway by the tongue
- Significantly reduces snoring
- Manages sleep apnea symptoms
- Little discomfort during procedure (local anesthetic used)
- Fast and easy recovery
- Most patients can resume normal diet and activity the next day
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are suffering from sleep apnea and believe you may benefit from ablation of the tongue, the first step is to consult with an ear, nose, and throat expert. Specialists at eos sleep have extensive experience in treating airway obstructions with minimally invasive procedures, such as ablation of the tongue. Call 212.873.6036 today or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or to learn more about eos sleep treatment options.