What is the VOAT Procedure for Sleep Apnea?

Have sleep problems due to sleep apnea and not seeing results with a CPAP machine? Check out the VOAT procedure for sleep apnea as an exciting new treatment and start getting a better night sleep!

What does VOAT stand for?

VOAT stands for Ventral Only Ablation of Tongue and is a common outpatient procedure for treating sleep apnea.

What is the VOAT Procedure?

The VOAT Procedure, also called Ventral Only Ablation of Tongue, is a treatment for sleep apnea that uses Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the tongue to reduce tissue size and improve sleep.

In the procedure the tongue tissue is heated using high frequency radio waves which cause the nerves in the area to heat, then reduce sensitivity and pain. As a result patients have less sensitivity and tissue due to scarring.

Voat Procedure Side Effects

The VOAT procedure has few side effects but does require the use of general anesthesia, but don’t worry! The procedure only takes a few minutes and you will be back on your feet at home the next day.

One rare side effect of the VOAT procedure is change in voice. This happens when the hypoglossal nerve is injured during the procedure. This nerve is responsible for tongue motion and can affect pronunciation and pitch. Don’t worry! This side effect usually fades over the course of a few days!

How does the VOAT Procedure help?

The VOAT Procedure helps people with sleep apnea get a better night sleep by desensitizing and removing tissue from the tongue, near the back of the throat. This helps reduce breathing and snoring problems at night by reducing friction in the back of the throat and upper passage.

Are there any side effects to the VOAT Procedure?

There are few side effects and risks to the VOAT Procedure. The most common side effects are bruising, infection, numbness and voice change. Most of the complications can be avoided by using ice, Advil and getting plenty of rest after your procedure.

After the procedure many people feel nausea, light headed and constipated due to the anesthesia but these effects wear off in a few hours!

Does the VOAT procedure hurt?

The VOAT procedure does not hurt as you will be under general anesthesia during the procedure. Most people do not feel any pain or lasting side effects from the VOAT procedure however doctors typically recommend over the counter pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol, an ice pack and getting some rest.

It is important to avoid smoking, using mouthwash and drinking alcohol before and after the procedure to avoid side effects and complications.  

Most doctors will schedule a post op appointment about 2 weeks after the procedure to review results and check on your health.

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