Tongue Base Procedure

If you’ve been treating your obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP but haven’t seen improvement, you might find success with surgical methods, one of which is tongue base reduction.

During deep sleep, your muscles relax, and if your tongue base is large, your tongue can fall back against the back wall of your throat, leading to obstructed breathing. If this is the source of your sleep apnea, we can reduce the size of your tongue base so that even when your muscles relax, your tongue doesn’t fall back and obstruct your airway.

One method of tongue base reduction that is becoming more common is radiofrequency tissue volume reduction. In this simple outpatient procedure, a wand sends radiofrequency waves into the tissues of your tongue, making the tissue easy to remove via suction. Because it is conservative and minimally invasive, however, several treatments are usually necessary.