Middletown, Conn. (WTNH) -- An otolaryngologist at Middlesex Hospital helped to pioneer an innovative robotic technique for sleep apnea.
Randy Clark is sleeping much better these days; diagnosed with sleep apnea, he couldn't get the sleep he needed.
"I was snoring a lot. I was definitely shaking some walls , so I was not breathing."
When questioned about being sluggish all the time Clark responded, "pretty much all day long."
To keep his airways open, Clark tried the standard treatment: the C-Pap. However, that didn't work out for him.
He then turned to Dr. Mark D'Agostino, an otolaryngologist, who specializes in sleep medicine at Middlesex Hospital .
"From a snoring perspective, what they're doing is they are partially obstructing the airways and the palate is vibrating , and as that becomes more pronounced, they stop breathing, said Dr. D'Anostino."
Now an innovative surgical technique, which Dr. D'Agostino helped to pioneer, using the D'Avinci robotic technology.
Dr. D'Agostino points to video of procedure.
"We're removing part of the tongue base with the robot," Dr. D'Agnostino said. "Right in here, all this right in here."
This new approach gets surgeons into an area that was difficult to expose.
"We're at the base of the tongue, the airways is going to be down here and we're resecting all this tissue that's falling back, blocking the airway," Dr. D'Agnostino said.
Only a handful of doctors offer it in the country, and Dr. D'Agostino is the only one in Connecticut.
With his airways no longer obstructed, Clark and his wife are finally getting the rest they both need.
"I don't feel groggy all the time, I'm not tired," Clark said. "My wife doesn't wake me up anymore telling me I'm snoring."
Recovery could take up to three weeks. It has been fairly successful, but the robotic surgery is not for everyone.
If left untreated, Dr. D'Agostino says sleep apnea could increase a person's risk for heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.
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