Medical Services – Medical Diseases & Conditions

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

If you’re experiencing difficulties related to uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and looking for effective solutions beyond traditional treatments, consider the option of UPPP surgery. This minimally invasive procedure has the potential to provide relief and enhance your overall quality of life.

Overview

What is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty?

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgical process utilized to remove excess tissue in the throat to increase the airspace. Generally, the result of this procedure permits air to travel easily through the throat, relieving snoring.

These are the throat tissues that may be removed:

  • Uvula
  • Soft palate
  • Tonsils, adenoids, and pharynx
Throat Illustration

This procedure is typically considered for moderate to severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea and can lead to significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life.

When is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) Performed?

UPPP is rarely utilized and is only considered for very severe snoring conditions when other treatments have proven ineffective. The aim of the procedure is to enlarge the airway space and stabilize the airway.

This procedure may be recommended for individuals who:

  • Have excess tissue in the nose, mouth, or throat that obstructs the airway.
  • Have not experienced a reduction in snoring despite lifestyle changes such as weight loss and sleeping on their sides.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) Procedure

UPPP is performed under general anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. A self-retaining mouth gag is carefully placed to protect your teeth and tongue during the surgery.

Your surgeon will evaluate your throat to identify the specific features contributing to narrowing, such as enlarged tonsils, a redundant uvula, or elongated tonsillar pillars.

The surgical process begins with the removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy), which may be the final step in the procedure.

Next, your surgeon will trim away any excess, loose, or floppy tissue along the lower soft margin of the palate. In some cases, the uvula may be partially or completely removed to reduce obstruction and improve airflow.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty Illustration

Finally, your surgeon will close the incision wound, and the throat is irrigated and suctioned to remove accumulated blood and fluid.

Following the procedure, the mouth gag is removed, and your teeth and tongue are examined for any injury.

The appearance of the palate after healing may be significantly different, as there is no longer a uvula dangling down the center, resulting in a smoother, shorter palate.

An overnight hospital stay is required after the procedure.

While UPPP can reduce the rate of apneic episodes by half, additional treatments may still be necessary. A sleep study is typically conducted around three months after surgery to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure.

Post-Surgery Pain

You will experience a moderate to severe pain level for the first few days after surgery. Pain is usually the worst on the third or fourth day after the surgery.

Pain, especially from swallowing, may last from 10 days to 3 weeks after surgery. Ear pain is common after surgery because one of the nerves in the ear passes near the tonsil area. It does not mean you have an ear infection.

Pain medication will be prescribed to you and should be taken as directed.

Recover Process After (UPPP)

After UPPP surgery, your recovery will involve several stages to ensure proper healing and optimal results. Here are some key aspects of the recovery process:

Pain Management: You may experience some discomfort or pain after surgery, which can be managed with pain medications prescribed by your doctor.

Diet: Initially, you may be advised to follow a soft diet to avoid irritation to the surgical site. Gradually, you can progress to a normal diet as tolerated.

Activity: It is important to rest and avoid strenuous activities for the first few days after surgery. Your doctor will advise you on when it is safe to resume normal activities.

Follow-up Appointments: You will need to attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your recovery progress and ensure that the surgery was successful.

Monitoring: Your doctor may recommend a sleep study to evaluate the effectiveness of the surgery in treating your obstructive sleep apnea.

Symptom Relief: UPPP surgery aims to reduce the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, such as snoring and daytime fatigue. You may notice an improvement in these symptoms as you recover.

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully during the recovery process to ensure the best possible outcome from your UPPP surgery.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please email or contact us now.

Take the first step and reach out to us for a complimentary virtual consultation. Our virtual consultants and surgeons will provide personalized recommendations based on your unique needs. Every client is different, and we tailor each procedure to match your individual requirements.