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If the cause of your apneas (blocking of the airway) is from a collapse from the back of your tongue when you sleep, an additional procedure called a Genioglossal Advancement Procedure may be performed. Often these procedures are performed at the same time with a palatal reconstruction procedure.

The purpose of this procedure is to suspend the tongue by pulling or “slinging” the muscles that support the tongue forward.

The operation begins with a small incision in the lower lip (not visible). The front of the jawbone is then exposed. Next, a small segment of the jawbone with its attached tongue muscles is advanced forward less than an inch. This pulls the back of the tongue forward and opens the airway in the back of the throat.

Since a small bone segment is moved, this procedure does not change the appearance of the face.

FAQ about Genioglossal Advancement

This procedure sounds like a major operation?

Patients are often surprised when they are told that the case typically can be completed within a half-hour. The risks of the procedure and the recovery time and discomfort are remarkably less than traditional bony advancement techniques.

Does it hurt?

As a stand-alone procedure, this operation is well tolerated. Discomfort varies from patient to patient. If no other procedure is performed you may anticipate a few days of soreness around the inside lip.

How long does the procedure take?

Although every case is different, Dr. Pasha typically can complete this procedures within 30 minutes.

Do these procedures alter my speech or swallowing?

Not for the long term. For some, you may have 1-10 days of swallowing or speech issues. Typically, this resolves on its own.

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