How do the Somnoplasty® Procedures System treat obstructive sleep apnea?

The Somnoplasty procedure for obstructive sleep apnea, which is performed under local anesthesia, treats sleep apnea by shrinking soft tissue in the upper airway including the base of tongue, the source of obstruction that is most difficult to treat. Somnus' proprietary Somnoplasty™ System is designed to use radiofrequency (RF) energy to provide a minimally invasive and less painful treatment of upper airway obstructions under local anesthesia. The System includes an automated RF control unit with temperature monitoring capabilities and a suite of proprietary, single-use, disposable surgical handpieces that deliver controlled thermal energy into targeted areas to reduce tissue volume and stiffen soft tissue.

The Somnoplasty procedure for obstructive sleep apnea generates heat at approximately 85° C (185° F) to create finely controlled coagulative lesions at precise locations within the upper airway. An insulating sleeve at the base of the needle electrode is intended to protect the surface of the tissue from thermal damage, thereby minimizing post-operative discomfort. The lesions created by the procedure are naturally resorbed in approximately three to eight weeks, reducing excess tissue volume and opening the airway. Typically, the Somnoplasty procedure for obstructive sleep apnea takes 30 to 45 minutes, with only five to 10 minutes required for RF energy delivery. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and after being monitored overnight, patients can return to their normal activities the following day. Typically, more than one treatment is necessary to achieve optimal results.