This month, Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America (SATCOA) reached a milestone by performing its 1,000th radiofrequency ablation to treat sleep apnea. “Sleep apnea sufferers are treated with a radiofrequency ablation (RFA) procedure in an in-office setting,” says Jeffrey L. Silveira, MD, founder and chief executive officer of SATCOA, in a release. The treatment, performed at SATCOA’s multiple locations across the country, takes 2 to 5 minutes over the course of five to eight treatments. RFA works by directing small amounts of targeted energy to the base of the tongue in the back of the throat. Following the procedure, the treated area heals, tissue is tightened, and thus it is reduced in size. This tightening and reduction directly prevent the tongue from blocking the airway while one sleeps, reducing and virtually eliminating sleep apnea, according to SATCOA. “Over 72% of our patients with mild sleep apnea have been cured within 6 months of RFA treatment,” Silveira says.
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