At Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America (SATCOA) we use an innovative treatment option called RadioFrequency Ablation of the Tongue (RFA). RFA is an in-office Sleep Apnea treatment that takes only a few minutes to complete. For years, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy has been recognized as the gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea. After lots of hard work from SATCOA this mindset is starting to change among the medical community. The problem with CPAP therapy is it only manages the sleep apnea condition. With RFA you have the best chance for curing the condition, saving you and your insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars versus a lifetime of CPAP treatment. And be honest, do you really want to wear a mask to sleep for the rest of their life?
We get lots of calls with questions and concerns about Radiofrequecy Ablation Treatment for Sleep Apnea so we thought it would be a good idea to address the most common ones.
What is RadioFrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency Ablation is minimally invasive procedure that takes place in a physician’s office over the course of five to eight treatments. Each procedure from start to finish takes less than 45 minutes with actual treatment to the area lasting from 2 to 5 minutes. All patients are able to drive themselves home or back to work immediately following the procedure.
The outpatient procedure is performed with local anesthesia. RFA directs small amounts of targeted energy to the base of the tongue in the back of the throat using a non-invasive device.
Following the procedure, the treated area heals, and the tissue is tightened and reduced in size, which directly prevents the tongue from blocking the airway while the patient is sleeping.
Who is a Candidate for Radiofrequency Ablation?
If you show signs of sleep apnea you may be a candidate. Any individual that has been diagnosed with OSA due to obstruction of the airway at the base of the tongue is a candidate for this procedure. A sleep study is required for all patients looking to diagnose the severity of their OSA. If you haven’t had a sleep study, SATCOA can refer you to take one. Or a home sleep study will be prescribed for your comfort and convenience.
Why Is Radiofrequency The Best Treatment Option For Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
In contrast to other OSA surgeries, the RFA procedure has a far shorter recovery time and significantly less post-operative pain. The recovery time for other OSA surgical procedures is typically several weeks with the accompaniment of narcotics, while the recovery time for the RFA procedure is just a few days with only an over-the-counter painkiller suggested, if necessary. This procedure has shown consistent positive results as being a sleep disorder cure for OSA.
Does Radiofrequency Ablation Hurt?
Everyone has a different pain threshold, but most commonly we here a patients say it reminds them of having a sore throat for a day or so.
Will I be able to sleep without my continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine?
This treatment option is an alternative to CPAP. Most of our patients will either be able to reduce their use of the CPAP machine or forgo all together. The potential cure for each patient is determined by the severity of OSA, CPAP settings and outcome of the procedure.
Is this a CPAP alternative?
Yes. If you are looking to stop using your CPAP machine, the RFA procedure may be an alternative. There are other alternatives on the market today but the SATCOA procedure is extremely effective at reducing or eliminating patients’ use of their CPAP machine.
Why are there not more doctors performing this procedure?
These advanced procedures are specialized and perfected by SATCOA. This procedure is on the cutting edge of medical technology and SATCOA is at the forefront of the movement to let more people know that there are other options for treating sleep apnea. In addition, these highly specialized methods are not taught in medical schools or residency programs and very few physicians are aware that major insurance carriers, such as Medicare and United Healthcare, have been reimbursing for this procedure since 2009. Our team of physicians has successfully performed thousands of RFA procedures across the United States.
If you or someone you know has OSA, find out whether RFA is the best treatment option. Contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 t0 schedule a consultation when it’s convenient for you.