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What is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty?
This is a surgical procedure which is used to remove excess tissue in the throat and sometimes remodels it making the airway wider. It is also known as sleep surgery, UP3 or UPPP. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is used to remove tissues such as Tonsils, Adenoids, Uvula, Soft palate, Excess throat tissue.Why it is done
How well does it work?
- Your doctor may recommend UPPP if you:
- Have excess tissue in your throat, nose or mouth which blocks your airway
- Cannot use or prefer not to use CPAP
- Do not feel better after using CPAP
- Do not want to use tracheostomy to treat sleep apnea
The UPPP procedure
- When UPPP is administered in isolation the results vary. This is because sleep apnea is usually caused by co-existing obstructions which are located at various locations of the airway.
- UPPP reduces sleep apnea in some people
- UPPP may stop snoring although episodes of apnea may continue
- CPAP may be required after the surgery even if the blockage is successfully removed
- Factors that influence the success of UPPP
- The pre-surgical size of the tonsils, tongue base, soft palate and uvula.
- Morbidly obese people have little success from this procedure
What to expect after surgery?
- UPPP is usually administered in isolation to patients with sleep apnea. It is administered in isolation with the aim of removing the tissue obstructing the patient’s throat. The procedure is done with the rationale that the patient’s airway will be widened and breathing will be eased by removing the excess tissue.
- The procedure involves removing the tonsils, which is followed by removing of the anterior surface of the uvula and soft palate, folding the uvula towards the soft palate and suturing it together.
- A tonsil is grasped with an instrument and medially retracted. The anterior tonsillar pillar mucosa is then incised and dissection continues along the tonsil capsule until the entire tonsil is removed.
- The interior part of the soft palate is the resected along with the uvula so as to preserve nasopharyngeal mucosa.
- Different suturing techniques are used at the corners of the soft palate to bring the oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal together in a single layer.
- You doctor may recommend CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy after UPPP. CPAP therapy involves using breathing device worn especially at night to help you breathe more easily and prevent your airway from closing up while asleep.
- Discomfort is usually present for the first 2-3 days and your doctor may prescribe pain medication or a numbing spray for your throat for this. However, your doctor may also recommend that you avoid some pain medications which relax the throat muscles. This is because they may narrow your airways and cause apnea episodes.
- Your diet should be soft and liquid such as soups for the following 1-2 weeks. You may resume most of your regular activities within 1-2 weeks after the procedure. However, you may require up to 6 weeks to recover fully.
Recovery : -Damage to surrounding tissues and blood vessels.
-Swelling, infection, pain or bleeding.
-Narrowing of the airway in the throat and nose.
-Changes in how food tastes.
-Periods of apnea.
Learn more about UPPP