Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

What is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty?

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgical procedure that treats sleep apnea by removing excess tissue in the throat and, as a result, widening the airway. This allows air to move through the throat more easily when you breathe, effectively reducing the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.

Who is a candidate for UPPP?

UPPP is recommended for patients with excess tissue in the nose, mouth or throat that blocks the airways and causes breathing abnormalities during sleep. It can also be used after life changes and conservative treatment methods have failed. In addition to widening the airway, UPPP also aims to improve the movement of the soft palate and help the airway remain open during sleep.

How is UPPP surgery performed?

During the UPPP procedure, tissue may be removed from the uvula, soft palate and throat, depending on the location and severity of each patient’s individual condition. If the tonsils and adenoids are still intact, they will also be removed during UPPP. This procedure can also be performed using laser energy for more precise, less invasive results. Recovery usually takes about three weeks, during which time patients may experience difficulty swallowing.

Your doctor will discuss these risks with you, as well as address any concerns you may have, prior to your procedure.

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