Initial reports from Europe indicate an 80 to 90 percent success rate in treating sleep apnea, versus the traditional procedure’s 40 to 50 percent success rate.
“Two of my patients had previously tried surgery, but the results were unsuccessful,” says Dr. Gross, who has practiced in Murfreesboro since 2003. “The technology of the robot allows the surgeon to visualize and operate in spaces that otherwise would not be accessible.”
The procedure involves removing overgrown tissue on the back of the tongue and takes about 45 minutes. Following surgery, patients reported mild to moderate pain, no difficulty swallowing and were able to sleep without a breathing device the first night after the procedure.
“CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the standard treatment for sleep apnea, but many patients are unable to tolerate CPAP and many others desire a chance for a normal night’s sleep without wearing a device. This could be achieved with successful surgery,” says Dr. Gross.Dr. Gross received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology in Head and Neck Surgery. The first application of the da Vinci robot for ENT surgeons was in the treatment of throat cancer. MTMC also uses the robot for bariatric, gynecologic and urologic surgical procedures.