Cedar Park Regional Medical Center (CPRMC) now offers transoral robotic surgery to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This new modality has revolutionized surgery through providing improved visualization and access to the excess tissue in the tongue base or epiglottis that causes sleep apnea. The area of obstruction is removed in a precise way, preventing the need for external incisions and allowing for shorter hospital stays. Generally, the patient is able to expect full recovery in three to four weeks. Through the use of the robot, a surgeon can manipulate the tissue in a tight space and have increased visibility with high definition camera and 3-D image modeling. According to Robert Nason, MD, ENT Surgeon with ENT Specialists of Austin, “I am very pleased to offer this surgical approach to Central Texans with sleep apnea who are good candidates. The technology provides an important advancement in the treatment of obstructive airway disease and patients have the
potential for faster recovery and improved post-surgical outcomes.”
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects 3-4 percent of adults and 5 – 10 percent of children. In OSA, there is usually snoring and also tissue collapse, causing airway obstruction. The obstruction leads to decreased oxygen levels and frequent awakenings at night. As a result, sleep quality is quite poor and patients often experience greater fatigue.
Other common symptoms include difficulty concentrating, decreased memory and morning headaches. Children can potentially have decreased intelligence, hyperactivity disorders, bedwetting, and growth impairment. Importantly, OSA is also linked to diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, depression, and stroke.
According to CPRMC’s CEO Brad Holland, “I am proud that we are one of the first hospitals in the region to offer transoral robotic surgery for obstructive sleep apnea.
At CPRMC, robotic-assisted surgery is an important technology as we focus on consistently improving quality metrics and optimizing the patient experience. It is a beneficial adjunct to certain general surgeries and several surgical specialties, including ENT, bariatrics, gynecology and urology.”
If individuals have symptoms of snoring or difficulty breathing while asleep, it is recommended that they plan an office visit with an ear nose and throat or sleep specialist to fully evaluate their OSA and determine the best treatment approach. CPRMC provides an accredited sleep center with physicians who are fellowship-trained in sleep medicine.