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Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

When non-surgical options are ineffective, “UPPP” is an option to treat snoring and sleep apnea. It can be combined with tonsillectomy in some cases. This procedure is designed to open the upper airway by widening the space at the back of the throat. It can also be part of an overall plan to treat sleep apnea, in conjunction with other operations. The uvula and soft palate (roof of the mouth) are trimmed and sutured to open the airway as much as possible. While generally safe, the procedure usually requires admission overnight to the hospital for monitoring of breathing and pain management. In the hospital, patients are able to give themselves pain medicine with the push of a button.

It is common to have a sore throat for 7-14 days after surgery. You may also have the sensation of “something at the back of throat,” or excessive mucus in the throat. This will usually resolve in a few weeks, but it can take several months to fully resolve. After the surgery, you will most likely need to get a sleep study done to evaluate the effect on sleep apnea (the timing will be determined by the physician). It is also common to have nasal regurgitation ofliquids when swallowing, for several weeks. Some patients also get a “nasal voice.” These symptoms usually resolve in several weeks as well.

Instructions for After Surgery

  • Activity: Rest is recommended for a few days after surgery, with most people requiring 7-10 days off from work. Exercise should not be done until after the first followup visit (usually about 1-2 weeks). Resting your voice for a few days is also helpful.
  • Diet: A soft diet with plenty of clear, cool liquids is recommended. Avoid citrus fruits, spicy, hot foods, and caffeinated/earbonated beverages. Avoid alcohol.
  • Mouth care: Gargle gently with salt water twice a day. (Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with 1 cup of water). This will help cleanse the grayish patches at the back of the throat (this is not infection, it is temporary evidence of healing). Do NOT use peroxide.
  • Medications: The physician will usually prescribe antibiotics and pain medicine. You may also be given other medicine for swelling as need cd.
  • Pain relief: Is it not unusual to have an earache after surgery. This is related to the healing ofthe throat and is usually not from an ear infection. An ice pack to the ear and upper neck may help.
  • It is important to keep the throat moist, as excessive dryness can increase discomfort. Drink several glasses of water a day and use a humidifier in the bedroom if needed. You can also use Chloraseptic spray (available without prescription) as needed for throat discomfort. If you are still experiencing discomfort, please call the office and speak to the nurse for guidance.

Please call the office at 972-402-8404 and leave a message with the nurse for any questions. You will be called back the same day, but if it is an emergency (difficulty breathing, bright red bleeding from the throat), ask the phone operator to page the nurse immediately.