Transoral robotic tongue base resection in obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome: a preliminary report

ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2010;72(1):22-7. doi: 10.1159/000284352. Epub 2010 Feb 18.


Purpose of the study: To evaluate the feasibility, tolerability and efficacy of tongue base management by means of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) in patients suffering from the obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS) primarily related to hypertrophy of the tongue base.

Procedure: Seventeen patients with OSAHS principally related to tongue base hypertrophy were managed by means of TORS (Intuitive da Vinci(R)). Patients with a minimum follow-up of 3 months were evaluated.

Results: Ten patients [mean preoperative apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI): 38.3 +/- 23.5 SD] were included in the study. By means of robotic technology, the tongue base and the epiglottis could be managed. The postoperative polysomnographic results were fairly good (mean postoperative AHI: 20.6 +/- 17.3 SD), and the functional results (pain, swallowing and quality of life) are very encouraging; altogether, complications were rare and of minor importance.

Conclusions: Transoral robotic tongue base management in patients with OSAHS primarily related to tongue base hypertrophy is feasible and well tolerable. These preliminary results are encouraging and worthy of further evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Polysomnography
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotics*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Tongue / pathology
  • Tongue / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome