Robotic Sleep Apnea Surgery

William Gross -- gross-william.jpgDr. William E. Gross, otolaryngologist, ENT, has become one of the first physicians in the nation to perform a TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) procedure for the treatment of sleep apnea using the da Vinci robot. Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormally shallow breathing or unusually long pauses in breathing during sleep.

Are You a Candidate?

Patients are assessed through in-office examination and review of recent sleep studies, MRI of the neck, and sleep endoscopy- a minor procedure where the patient is sleep induced by an anesthesiologist, and then evaluated with a scope to identify the levels of tissue obstruction If the tongue base is involved, then the patient is a candidate for TORS for sleep apnea.


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.

About 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.

To make an appointment with Dr. Gross, call 615.867.8110.