Tongue Advancement Surgery in Foley, AL

Family ENT Practice

What is Tongue Advancement Surgery?

For some, the tongue is the main cause of airway obstruction which leads to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic snoring. The tongue is primarily composed of muscle. The largest muscle of the tongue is called the genioglossus, and therefore this surgery is sometimes called genioglossus surgery. This muscle attaches to the central area on the inner side of the lower jaw. Tongue advancement surgery captures this area of the tongue and permanently repositions it to a slightly more forward position.

Snoring doctor in alabama

Why is the tongue advancement performed?

Tongue advancement surgery may be recommended for patients whose primary cause of sleep apnea and snoring is related to a large tongue and/or poorly toned tongue muscles. If you have failed to achieve successful relief using other snoring and sleep apnea treatments, this surgery may be considered.

By moving the major anchor point for the tongue forward, the procedure:

Creates more room for the tongue to relax during sleep
Enlarges and stabilizes the airway
Prevents obstruction and allows for better breathing during sleep

What are the advantages of tongue advancement?

Tongue advancement offers a number of advantages, including:

A permanently enlarged breathing passage that increases airflow
Continued relief from airway obstruction
Significant, long-term improvement of snoring
Significant, long-term improvement of obstructive sleep apnea symptoms

What does tongue advancement involve?

This procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery. It involves Dr. Kowal making a small incision inside of the lower lip in order to make a small rectangular cut in the lower jaw, which is then moved forward and turned slightly. Once this is complete, the bone will be secured in place and the tissues will be sutured back into place.

Dr. Keith Kowal, a highly experienced ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist in Foley, Alabama is an expert in enhanced treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, including the tongue advancement procedure. If you have OSA symptoms or chronic snoring and want to do something about it, you can trust Dr. Kowal and his 30 years of experience. His goal is to help his patients breathe better and sleep better to live better! A consultation with Dr. Kowal is the first step to a good night’s sleep and a healthier lifestyle for you and your bed partner. To find out whether you’re a candidate for tongue advancement, call 251.943.1117 today to schedule an appointment or simply fill out the form on this page.


    Inspire - a cpap alternative

    The Inspire upper airway stimulation system consists of a small impulse generator implanted beneath the clavicle, a tunneled breathing sensing lead placed between the external and intercostal muscles, and a tunneled stimulation lead attached to the branch of the hypoglossal nerve that produces tongue protrusion.

    When the sensing lead detects inspiration is occurring, the impulse generator sends a signal via the stimulation lead to the hypoglossal nerve, which results in slight forward displacement of the stiffened tongue. The impulse generator is similar in size and appearance to a cardiac pacemaker, and the latest version is magnetic resonance imaging compatible.

    Balloon Sinuplasty

    Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure for treating chronic or recurrent sinusitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the sinuses. This advanced treatment opens up blocked or narrow sinus passages to relieve sinus pain and pressure without the need for cutting. During the procedure, natural sinus openings and surrounding tissue are preserved.

    Dr. Keith Kowal and Dr. Ananth at ENT Centers of Excellence are the only ENT physicians in the region who offers Balloon Sinuplasty in-office. They both can perform Balloon Sinuplasty as an outpatient procedure as well. 

    Transoral Robotic Surgery

    ENT Centers of Excellence is pleased to offer a breakthrough, state-of-the-art surgery called transoral robotic surgery (TORS), a minimally invasive procedure that offers numerous benefits to patients. TORS can be used for multiple purposes, for treatment of both sleep disorders and head and neck cancers. Dr. Keith Kowal is the only board-certified provider of TORS in the region.

    Lateral Pharyngoplasty

    Lateral pharyngoplasty is surgery that is designed to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic snoring. The procedure involves a combination of tissue removal and tissue repositioning of the roof of the mouth (soft palate) as well as the tissues on the sides of the throat (the lateral pharyngeal tissues).

    Radiofrequency Ablation (of the tongue)

    Radiofrequency (RF) ablation of the base of tongue is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic snoring that may be performed if the tongue is the primary cause of OSA and snoring symptoms. The purpose of the procedure is to reduce the size of the tongue base so that the airway is clearer and less likely to cause a blockage.

    Hyoid Suspension

    Hyoid suspension is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic snoring. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck that has attachments to muscles of the tongue as well as other muscles and soft tissues around the throat. The hyoid bone is free to move around rather than firmly anchored in position, and this mobility may cause this area to collapse and cause airway blockage during sleep. With a hyoid suspension procedure, this mobility is eliminated.