Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) with endoscope-guided coblation tongue base resection. Design: Retrospective case-control study. Setting: University-based tertiary care medical center. Participants: Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) who underwent endoscope-guided tongue base coblation resection or transoral robotic surgery (TORS) in combination with lateral pharyngoplasty at a single institution in South Korea between April 2013 and December 2016 were investigated. Forty-five patients who had moderate-to-severe OSA with tongue base collapse and a minimum follow-up period of 6 months with postoperative polysomnography (PSG) were enrolled in this study. Main outcome measures: All patients underwent pre- and postoperative (at least 4 months after surgery) overnight PSG. Available information on results of the PSG, Epworth sleepiness scale and complications of the TORS and coblation groups were compared. Results: Postoperative PSG studies showed improved sleep quality for most patients. The mean postoperative apnoea-hypopnea index (AHI) was reduced significantly from 45.0 to 17.0 events/h (P <.0001) in the TORS group and from 45.6 to 16.2 events/h (P <.0001) in the coblation group. The mean rates of improvement (AHI reduction > 50%) were 75.0% in TORS patients and 62.1% in coblation patients and the difference was not significant. Less frequent postoperative morbidity, including bleeding, taste dysfunction and foreign body sensation, was recorded in TORS patients. Conclusions: Both the coblation and TORS groups showed similar surgical outcomes, TORS achieved PSG results non-inferior to and complication rates comparable to coblation.
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