Sleep surgery

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Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (also known by the abbreviations UPPP and UP3) is a surgical procedure or sleep surgery used to remove tissue and/or remodel tissue in the throat. This could be because of sleep issues. Tissues which may typically be removed include:

  • The tonsils
  • The adenoids

Tissues which may typically be remodeled include:

  • The uvula (see uvulotomy)
  • The soft palate
  • The pharynx

UPPP involves removal of the tonsils, the posterior surface of the soft palate, and the uvula. The uvula is then folded toward the soft palate and sutured together.

The effectiveness of UPPP in isolation

When UPPP has been administered in isolation, the results are variable. As explained above, sleep apnea is often caused by multiple co-existing obstructions at various locations of the airway such as the nasal cavity, and particularly the base of the tongue. The contributing factors in the variability of success include the pre-surgical size of the tonsils, palate, uvula and tongue base. Also, patients who are morbidly obese (body mass index >40 kg/m2) are significantly less likely to have success from this surgery.

All heavy lifting, exercise or other vigorous activity should be avoided for 14 daysafter surgery.

Throat and ear pain (referred) can be severe after these surgeries. Use pain medications as needed and as directed; however, be aware that prescription pain medication makes sleep apnea worse.

It is important for you to drink plenty of fluids after surgery. Drink every hour while awake. A soft diet is recommended for the first 14 days.

You should rest at home for the first 48 hours.

There should be NO bleeding from the nose or mouth. If you see any bleeding at all, sit upright and phone your doctor immediately

.For Questions or Emergency Care Call the office . You may need to speak with the doctor on-call.