Role of the tongue base suspension suture with The Repose System bone screw in the multilevel surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 Apr;126(4):392-8. doi: 10.1067/mhn.2002.123548.


Objective: The Repose System (tongue base suspension) is a new, minimally invasive technique for tongue base suspension in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The purpose of this project was to describe our preliminary experience using this tongue base suspension system in conjunction with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) in the multilevel surgical approach to the management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Study design: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 19 consecutive patients undergoing UPPP and The Repose System tongue base suspension for the management of obstructive sleep apnea during a 1-year period (1998 through 1999).

Results: Fifteen patients (11 men and 4 women) had complete preoperative and postoperative polysomnographic data. A 46% reduction in the preoperative respiratory disturbance index (RDI) (38.7 +/- 12.3) versus the postoperative RDI (21.0 +/- 7.4, P < 0.05) was demonstrated at a mean of 3.8 months after surgery. The apnea index demonstrated a 39% reduction. The surgical cure rate was 20% (3 of 15 patients).

Conclusions: The Repose System in conjunction with UPPP has been shown to produce significant reductions in the RDI and apnea index as well as a significant increase in O2 saturation. Despite the improvement in these objective parameters, the overall surgical cure rate was only 20% (3 of 15 patients) in this retrospective series. Further research is warranted to define the role of The Repose System in the management of obstructive sleep apnea patients with multilevel airway obstruction.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Screws*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palate / surgery
  • Pharynx / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Tongue
  • Uvula / surgery