Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Surgical Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is pressurized air delivered with a mask worn with all sleep. Not every patient tolerates CPAP and numerous surgical alternatives to CPAP have been developed. No surgical treatment works as well as CPAP.

One type of surgery is called genioglossal advancement, which is a fancy way of saying that the base of the tongue is pulled closer to the lower jaw. By doing this, the space behind the tongue is enlarged, meaning that the amount of OSA could be significantly reduced.

Siesta Medical has just received FDA approval for their EncoreTM surgical treatment for OSA - see the picture below. From their website..."The EncoreTM System is used in a minimally invasive surgical procedure where the tongue is suspended forward with the intent of preventing collapse of the airway during sleep. The procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia by Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, also known as Otolaryngologists. During the procedure, an intra-tissue suture passer is used to place a suspension loop in the tongue which is then attached to the base of the chin with a knotless bone anchor. The EncoreTM System greatly simplifies tongue suspension and provides the surgeon excellent control of positioning and tensioning of the suspension loop."

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