da Vinci® Robot-Assisted Sleep Apnea Surgery

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, most often when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. For those with sleep apnea, the brain briefly wakes them throughout their sleep so that they resume breathing. However, as a result sleep quality is poor and unrestful, resulting in daytime fatigue and many other problems.

Until now, patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea had relatively few choices in treatment. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices and traditional invasive surgical techniques have been used to treat sleep apnea.

A Revolutionary New Way to Treat Severe Sleep Apnea 

One of the latest medical advances in sleep medicine is the use of the da Vinci® Robot-Assisted Surgical System for severe obstructive sleep apnea.

The da Vinci® robot-assisted surgery for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is revolutionary due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. With amazing dexterity and precision, the surgeon guides the robotic arms in through the patient’s mouth rather than through the neck.

The Smarter Choice for Sleep Apnea Treatment: Middlesex Hospital

  • Middlesex Hospital is the only facility in Connecticut to offer robotic surgery to treat sleep apnea.
  • Middlesex Hospital is building one of the most comprehensive robot assisted surgical programs in New England, offering the following procedures:
    • Sleep apnea surgery
    • Prostate cancer surgery
    • Gynecological surgery
    • Thoracic surgery
  • Dr. Mark D’Agostino has helped topioneer the innovative procedure called TORS, or TransOral Robotic Surgery that will help thousands of people with sleep apnea. For more information, visit Sleep Disorders Center.

TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for Sleep Apnea Treatment

What are the benefits of TORS?

  • Eliminates the need for mouthpieces or breathing devices generally used for sleep apnea treatment
  • Minimal incisions/Less scarring
  • Faster recovery time

TORS Procedure

  • The surgery is primarily for patients whose sleep apnea is due to having tongue-based obstruction because it focuses on reducing the size of the base of the tongue.
  • Patients that require this procedure are assessed during an in-office examination, which includes a review of recent sleep studies, and an evaluation with a scope to identify the levels of tissue obstruction.
  • The sleep apnea procedure (TORS) involves the actual surgery and a 1-2 day hospital stay after the surgery.
  • Full recovery is expected to take about three weeks.
  • A sleep study is then conducted about three months after surgery to ensure that the procedure was successful.

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