Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a type of surgery. It removes a small piece of tissue that hangs in the back of your throat. This is your uvula. After this tissue is removed, air may move through your throat better when you breathe.
This surgery may be used to treat sleep apnea that has not been helped by other treatments. Sleep apnea happens when your throat is narrow or blocked by tissue. It can make you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer when you sleep.
You will be asleep during surgery. The doctor takes out your uvula and may also take out the tonsils and part of the soft palate. The soft palate is the back part of the roof of your mouth.
After surgery, you may snore less. But not all snoring will stop. This surgery does not fix snoring that happens when the tongue relaxes. So you may still need to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP is a breathing device you wear when you sleep. It prevents your airway from closing. This helps you breathe more easily.
You will probably go home the day after surgery. In about 1 to 2 weeks, you can probably go back to work or most of your usual activities. But you may need 3 to 6 weeks to fully recover.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: September 5, 2018
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
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