The tongue is an essential part of our anatomy with its roles in swallowing, phonation and tasting.
In many patients with sleep apnea, it can actually become a factor in airway obstruction during the night.
This is particularly noticeable in obese and overweight people.
In fact, fatty tissue also increases the volume of the tongue by moving it superiorly and posteriorly.
In some cases, the problem is large enough that it is indicated to resect a portion of the back of the tongue by a procedure called medial glossectomy.
An uncommon technique
This procedure was developed more than 20 years ago and then largely abandoned because of the pain and risks associated with it.
Since then, new techniques have emerged, the most widely used of which is the reduction of the base of the tongue by Illustration – the median glossectomy.radiofrequency.
These new techniques cause less post-operative pain and the associated risks, especially for nerves and where there are fewer blood vessels in that area.
In practice, median glossectomy is still used, especially since some patients require more drastic measures.
This surgery can therefore help them, in case other treatments fail.
The median glossectomy procedure is performed in the operating room under general anaesthesia.
The surgeon removes the central part of the tongue at its base.
Once the suture is completed, the volume of the tongue is reduced.