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Scheduled for evaluation and possible procedure next day

Have an appointment for an evaluation and maybe the next day a Radio Frequency Temperature controlled ablation of tongue.  It (supposedly) takes several treatments.  I am not getting excited that I may not need CPAP ...but....    I would be happier if it just lets me use the CPAP without a cervical neck collar.  My neck pain is getting worse from wearing it.  I was diagnosed mile to moderate, the MD reviewed my sleep study results and felt I might be helped.  Will see what he say son the day of the veal.  It is 5 hours from where I live, hence the scheduling the next day for procedure if he deems OK.  Appointment is 10/14.  I could have had one sooner but going on vacation in 2 weeks. 

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Ginny, you're a lot braver than I am.  I don't think I'd get my tongue messed with even if I knew it might help.  Keep  us posted.

What happens if you don't use the cervical collar?  I get tired of the chin strap so I understand .

If I don't use the chin strap I have "puffs" and my mouth opens to let the air out and then I wake up.   I will keep you posted.  it is "minimally" invasive surgery (or so THEY say)  Done in his office.  Actual procedure only takes 2-3 minutes and usually repeated 4-6 times each a month a part.  Of course the doctor has not seen me yet. He has only seen my sleep study results.  Hope it's not just a money maker and something that does not help much.  Can't help but be skeptical. Some of the other procedures I have read about sound awful to go through.  Would not even try them. So I will see what he says on the 14th to decide whether I want to have the first treatment on the 15th. (October) At this point...I feel I have to try something!

Mary Z said:

Ginny, you're a lot braver than I am.  I don't think I'd get my tongue messed with even if I knew it might help.  Keep  us posted.

What happens if you don't use the cervical collar?  I get tired of the chin strap so I understand .

Leaving Sunday for Statesboro GA for eval on Monday at 1 PM for possible first procedure Tuesday at 11 AM.   Feeling apprehensive. And I won't let myself feel really hopeful.I mentioned to my sleep doctor this week at my yearly appointment and she did not discourage me. (but now she wants to see me in 6 months if I have procedure or finished with them by that time.

Good Luck, Ginny.  Is it an office procedure or outpatient facility?  When I saw the ENT he said there was nothing wrong anatomically so there was nothing he could do.  I got a very thorough exam from him.  I hope they give you some joy juice to keep you a bit sedated while they are working  on you.  Keep us posted, Ginny.


It is done in his office.  They say you can drive after it so I am thinking not much in the way of "joy juice".  (darn!) I hope he is an honest man...I don't always trust doctors when they see $$ signs.  He is to examine me on Monday.  Guess it will depend on what he says to me whether I go through with it or not.  My sleep doctor did mumble something this week as she was looking in my mouth about something being small.  :)  Will let you know how it goes.  Should be home Tuesday evening. It is a 5.5 hour drive.

Today is your appointment, Ginny, let us know how it went.


Will try to answe tomorrow.  Just go theme.  Tired and have th emother of all sore throats from the procedure.  Just crushed a percocet so hope to hav e relief in a few minutes.  SHould be better in 48 hours.  He plans to do 5 more and then if it is successful you have one done yearly.  it was not the most pleasant thing to go through but I have had worse.  Will go in to more detail when I get back on!!

Blow by blow account....   Day of procedure you can eat etc.  Prednisone and reflex orally are started the day before.  The inside of your mouth on each side is sprayed with numbing agent.  Then a "paste" is spread on your tongue.  After a brief time the MD comes in.  He has you HOLD your tongue out with a piece of gauze.  I closed my eyes then but he used two syringes to inject a local in two areas.  Had some gagging and had to wait for him to be able to do this after I was better able to control the gagging.  Some discomfort as he injected it.  Another waiting period.  He returns.  A grounding pad is applied to your lower back. Holding your tongue again with the guaze in your hand.  Easier said then done now that your tongue is numb and feels huge.  No pain at all while the one minute "blast' of radio frequency is given. Have to eat or drink ONLY cold things.  I was unable to eat and barely drink from noon until this AM>  Was given pain pills but I always have trouble swallowing pills so now it was worse.  I am crushing everything.  I sleep at 45 degree angle (per instructions) last night.  Only slept 4-5 hours.  The pain is much, much less today. Will still eat only cold things and suck on ice as much as I can.  Plans a total of 6 treatments.  And if it "works" then yearly.  (think I said this before)  I have had other prcedures worse but can not say this was pleasant.  The doctor is wonderful.  Explains everything and seems to be knowledgeable.  He has done 172 of these  since January this year. He mentioned he could give liquid pain RX and I plan to ask for that.  Since it was over a five hour drive I was in a lot of pain due to not being able to swallow the percocet! So...guess that's it!

Ginny, thanks for the report.  I'm glad it was not so bad you would not go back for the next ones.  I hope this will free you from the cervical collar.  Dis he say anything his success rate?  172 procedures means a lot of sleep apnea patients even counting 6 procedures per patient, and I'm sure some of those were one year follow ups.

Please continue to keep us posted, Ginny.

He (himself0 has been doing only since january.  He has been a hear/neck surgeon since 2002, I believe. Supposedly 72% success rate of good improvement with many not using CPAP any more. I couldn't use my cervical collar last night due to discomfort from surgery.  I guess because I had to sleep at a 45 degree angle I was able to do fine without the collar  But not a comfortable sleep position.  He said since my apnea was mild/moderate (AHI 10 during sleep study) I might have a better percentage of doing well and having good results. My only fear for the next time(s) is the gagging I had.  You can not really control it.  On a side note, will probably loose a few pounds since not much I feel I can eat.  :) Normally you have to go back for a 7 day follow up but since I live so far away he said he would call me in 3 days.have not taken any pain medicine since 2 AM

No pain med in over 24 hours.  I actually slept without the cervical collar last night and slept well.   AHI still good.  Wondering if just the initial swelling of my tongue is what helped.  But maybe, just maybe it is already working!

That's great news, Ginny.  My mouth seems to heal quickly when I burn it with food that's too hot.

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