Tongue Advancement Surgery in Foley, ALFamily 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.
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.
CPAP Alternatives (Inspire)
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.
Dr. Keith Kowal at ENT Centers of Excellence is the only ENT physician in the region who offers Balloon Sinuplasty in-office. He can also perform Balloon Sinuplasty as an outpatient procedure.