Sleep Apnea Treatment using Advanced Surgical Technique

Sleep Apnea Treatment using Advanced Surgical Technique

Del Rey ENT Associates, a leading healthcare provider offering a full range of otolaryngological services, has introduced a new program for sleep apnea treatment and snoring using the advanced, robotic da Vinci Surgical System. Although robotic surgery has been used for several years by cardiac, colorectal, urological and other surgeons, Dr. Farhad Sigari, M.D. FACS, a board-certified otolaryngologist and founder of Del Rey ENT Associates is among the first Southern California clinics to apply this precise robotic da Vinci Surgical System for permanent, successful treatment of sleep apnea.

“Robotic surgery has gained broad acceptance for surgical treatments, but it has not widely been used to address sleep apnea caused by airway obstruction,” said Dr. Sigari. “With our approach, we can precisely reshape the palate, throat, and tongue in ways that would be difficult or impossible with old-fashioned manual surgery. Patients also gain the benefit of faster recovery and less pain and bleeding, so they can say goodbye to their CPAP masks once and for all.”

“Sleep apnea is notoriously difficult to treat,” Kyle Keojampa, MD, FACS of Del Rey ENT Associates commented. “Non-invasive techniques such as sleep masks are ungainly and some patients can’t use them. Traditional surgery is difficult because the throat and tongue base are difficult to see and access. With robotic surgery, we can see clearly see the areas causing the obstruction and perform precise surgery without guesswork.”

According to studies, sleep apnea affects between 18 million and 22 million people in the United States. The symptoms include loud snoring, abrupt stoppage of breathing, awakening during sleep, chronic fatigue and several other conditions that can greatly impact everyday life. For a variety of reasons, traditional methods of treating sleep apnea may not be effective for all patients. Following diagnosis, patients with an airway obstruction may be candidates for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), administered through a face mask and motor. CPAP may alleviate symptoms, but some patients may not tolerate the treatment. Alternatively, patients may be treated with traditional transoral surgery, typically uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP).
Using robotic technology, the surgeons of Del Rey ENT Associates are able to achieve greater success than manual surgeries. Traditional surgery is successful in less than 50% of cases. There are typically 3 sites of obstruction which includes the nasal passages, palate with tonsils, and the tongue base. The back of the tongue is one of the largest contributing factors to obstructive sleep apnea, and is one of the most difficult to address using manual techniques. Robotic surgery is uniquely positioned to easily address and treat the tongue base. Robotic sleep apnea surgeries performed by the team of Dr. Sigari and Dr. Keojampa has been shown to significantly improve outcomes up to 90%. As a member of one of the most experienced robotic surgery teams in the USA, Dr. Keojampa received training in transoral robotic surgery in 2008 and has nearly a decade of experience in robotic surgery.

Del Rey ENT Associates conducts precise diagnosis of patients who experience sleep apnea, using such advanced technology as an in-office head and neck CT, fiberoptic upper airway evaluation, and sleep endoscopy. If the assessment of the patient’s tests indicates that the patient has sleep apnea caused by a tongue-based obstruction, transoral Robotic surgery may be recommended. Robotic surgery gives the surgeons of Del Rey ENT Associates a clear view of the blocked region and improved access to precisely remove the obstructing tissue.

Read the entire press release.

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