Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) for Snoring

Removal of part or entirety of the uvula is called Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (also referred to as UPPP and UP3), it is the also oldest of the surgeries designed to stop snoring. The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and involves the removal of the uvula, tonsils or part of the soft palate, in an attempt to widen the oropharynx and give the snorer a clear airway.

To begin the rear of the mouth is anaesthetised, after which the uvula (tonsils and/or soft palate) is injected with a local anaesthetic to numb the area. Once numb, the area causing the snoring is cut away using electrocautery (a metal probe conducted, and heated by an electric current, cuts and cauterises the wound simultaneously) which stops the bleeding immediately.

Side-Effects of Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

Immediately after surgery patients will feel the effects of the laser or eletrocautery in their throats, which will become sore for over a week. In the long term other side-effects have become apparent such as having a consistently dry palate, partial loss of taste, change in vocal tone and even regurgitation and gagging. Recovery time for UPPP is a minimum of two weeks after the patient has left hospital.

Benefits of Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

UPPP is often carried out in one single sitting. Unlike any other palatal surgery, UPPP actually widens the oropharynx and is thus beneficial to people whose snoring is caused by the collapsing of the throat during sleep.

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