How does tongue reduction surgery work?

I have been reading that this is a possible treatment to sleep apnea. How does tongue reduction work? Is it literally cutting off part of the tongue?

Doctors Answers (2)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 1/13/2014

Tongue reduction surgery means cutting off a part of the back of the tongue. Post operative pain is something you will never forget. This surgery should be reserved for those patients who have been demonstrated to have a reduced airflow caused by a large tongue and not due to a very narrow airway which is easily compromised by only the tongue but the soft palate as well. There are better ways to treat sleep apnea.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 1/10/2014

We do not recommend tongue reduction surgery. That is extensive and consideration of CPAP therapy would be recommended if you have sleep apnea. You would be wise to see a Sleep Physician and have a sleep study before undergoing a tongue reduction surgery.