Answer Provided by Dr. Kasey Li
June 15, 2007
The submucosal lingualplasty procedure was derived from the median partial glossectomy performed back in the early 80s. There were 4 or 5 papers published back then documenting moderate to significant improvement of OSA. However, the procedure is not as successful as MMA and is quite morbid, thus the procedure is not really done anymore.
Submucosal lingualplasty preserves most of the mucosa (surface of the tongue) while resecting tongue muscle (some people use radiofrequency energy to cut as oppose to the more common radiofrequency energy to shrink). Obviously, the more you resect, the more volume is reduced. I do not perform the procedure as I do not think that the procedure is nearly as effective as MMA. I would estimate that risks are bleeding, infection, injury to the motor nerve of the tongue, speech and swallowing issues not to mention failure of the procedure.
I anticipate recovery would be about 2 weeks and suspect that there can be fair amount of swelling postoperatively. When ever I am asked about procedures or surgeons, my answer is usually “request 2 or 3 references (patients who have had the same/similar procedures) from your surgeon”. If your surgeon can not provide you with 2 or 3 patients that have had decent results, RUN!
I hope this is helpful.