Many other people undergo
uvulopalatopharyngoplasty after they finally become tired of using a
CPAP machine night after night, as this option may be available to
provide the permanent
relief from obstructive sleep apnea that so many people
are desperately seeking. If you are one of the millions of Americans
that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, UPPP may be just what you've
been looking for.
The only thing you need to note is that most doctors will only
recommend sleep apnea surgery as
a very last resort. Surgery is expensive, involves lots of
risk for complications, and is simply ineffective in some cases. So,
before you decide to go under the knife, you should first look at all
of the other non-surgical treatment options, such as anti-snoring
devices, to see if one of them might make more sense.
is a type of sleep
apnea surgery that involves removing tissue from the throat
that is obstructing the airway during sleep. The amount of tissue and
which specific tissues are removed during the surgery depend entirely
on the individual and what is causing their obstructions.
The tissues that may be removed during this surgery include the
tonsils, uvula, soft palate (roof of the mouth), adenoids, and pharynx.
In some cases it is determined that the patient has a larger than
average tongue, part of it may also be removed along with the other
tissues, and this procedure is known as an
By removing these tissues, the
airway should be widened and the
obstructions should be minimized. Another goal of this procedure is to
reduce the amount the muscles
in the mouth can move, allowing the
throat to stay open easier.
it is also hoped that this surgery
will allow the soft
palate to move and close more freely. These three
goals combined will thus hopefully have the effect of permanently
treating obstructive sleep apnea. Still, not all surgeries are as
effective and some people still have to use a CPAP machine even after
surgery, especially in more severe cases.
Can I Expect From The UPPP Procedure?
of the first things most people want to know is what they can expect
after they undergo UPPP. When it comes down to the actual
results and effectiveness of this sleep apnea surgery at relieving your
sleep apnea, only your
doctor will be able to give you an estimate of
what to expect, as the results can vary dramatically from case to case.
Nonetheless, most everyone should see at least some
so, many ear, nose, and throat doctors and surgeons do not
recommend this procedure except
in extreme cases, such as when a
tracheotomy may be the only other option. This is mostly due to the
fairly low success rate (around 40% of patients have their sleep apnea
totally cured) and high risk of complications.
thousands of people a year choose to undergo this surgery after
deciding the risks are more than worth the chance of sleep apnea
relief. When it comes to what to expect immediately following the
during the recovery period, this is much easier to pinpoint.
surgery is considered to be quite
invasive and usually requires the
patient spend at least
two or three nights in the hospital, and it
usually takes at least a few months before most people would consider
themselves to be totally recovered and without any lingering effects.
probably won't be able to eat solid foods for a time, and even
after you can, you will still have difficulty swallowing for weeks. You
should also expect to have a quite sore throat and mouth, especially
when talking for several weeks as well.
most cases, the surgery
shouldn't affect your voice in any way, that is, as long as you speak
English. Removing the uvula causes people who speak French,
and other languages which use what is termed a "uvular R," to lose the
ability to speak properly, as it just isn't popular to say the uvular R
without a uvula.
Associated with UPPP
stated earlier, many doctors and surgeons are wary to recommend or
perform this procedure due to the high risk of complications, of which
most are much more serious than simply losing the ability to speak
More and more people who have undergone this procedure are starting to
report back about the negative
effects it has had on them, and the
internet is packed full of these horror stories. While the majority of
people will most likely not experience any of these damaging
complications, it's still a good
idea to be aware of the risks of any
surgical procedure before deciding to undergo it.
One of the biggest risks is that the removal of these tissues will
scar tissue to form after the surgery, and this scar
tissue can actually become larger than the tissue that was removed and
thus make the
obstructions and the sleep apnea much worse. Other people
have reported suddenly suffering from terrible acid reflux after
undergoing the surgery, even individuals who have never had any prior
it was stated earlier that the surgery shouldn't affect your
voice, a very small percentage of people do find their voice to be more
nasal after the surgery, but in most cases this is simply
a result of
swelling and will eventually go away. However, sometimes the surgery
does cause mucous to drain into the nose, and in these cases, the
nasally voice will remain.
Additionally, as with any surgery, there is also the risk of bleeding
and infections following the procedure. The risk for infections is
especially high as it is very difficult to keep the mouth properly
cleaned, so you'll have to be diligent to minimize this risk.
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