Freeman Medical Focus — Airlift Procedure

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JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin doctor is the first in the area to offer a new procedure designed to help patients with sleep apnea.

Kent McIntire, DO; Freeman Sleep Center, said, “The part that’s been difficult for us for many years is called the hypopharanx down low in the throat. That’s where most people obstruct, at the base of the tongue.”

Now patients with sleep apnea have the option of fixing it with the Airlift procedure.

“Different part of the base of tongue and hypopharanx tend to collapse as we get older, muscle tone gets less and this is designed like a face lift, increase the tone of those muscles and the lining of the throat.”

The process starts with a drug induced sleep endoscopy.

“And that way we can custom size the treatment. We can tell where the obstruction is obstructing and better design a surgery for that patient the Airlift itself is an outpatient procedure involving two small incisions, a surgery that shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes.

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