UPPP (Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty)

what is UPPP?

UPPP | Sleep Apnea Treatment | Snoring Treatment Austin TXUPPP is short for uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. It is a procedure that causes elevation and stiffening of the soft palate and reduction of the uvula. It is intended to reduce snoring and sleep apnea.

Previously this was an aggressive surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia in the operating room. A large section of the soft palate was surgically resected along with the tonsils. This created severe pain and unpredictable healing with significant risks of complications.

Dr. Slaughter has developed a minimally invasive technique that can be performed in the office. It is frequently combined with nasal procedures such as balloon sinuplasty to reduce or eliminate snoring and sleep apnea. In this procedure the elongated uvula is removed and a stiffening injection is placed above the uvula area. This injection is a special mixture of lidocaine and alcohol. It stimulates the patient’s soft palate to develop scar tissue while it elevates and stiffens over 9 weeks. There is discomfort for about 2 weeks but it is generally well tolerated with most patients being able to work, talk, and eat normally. The risk of any complication is dramatically reduced with this technique.

Why is uPPP performed?

Dr. Slaughter’s UPPP procedure is for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

ideal candidate for UPPP

Patients with the following conditions can benefit greatly from UPPP:
  • Patients with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea
  • People with long and floppy soft palate tissue
  • Patients with a long uvula

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UPPP risks and benefits

The risks with our modern procedure are very limited. The patient will have a sore throat for about two weeks. Some patients may report transient choking sensations or some difficulty swallowing. We have not experienced any patient with any permanent change in their voice or swallowing.

The UPPP Treatment

We perform reduction of the uvula with a special low energy electric instrument. This is combined with an injection of a stiffening agent to the soft palate that stimulates the soft palate to elevate and lay down natural scar tissue. Patients are typically under IV sedation in our office and do not feel or remember the procedure. The procedure takes about 5 minutes and our patients typically leave our office within 15 minutes. This procedure is typically done along with correction of the nasal and sinus airway including balloon sinuplasty, septoplasty, and turbinate reduction.

UPPP Recovery

A sore throat (described as a 5/10 pain level) is typical for 2 weeks. Pain is managed with Aleve and topical numbing sprays but we do provide stronger pain medication to be used if needed. Transient difficulty with swallowing can be expected. Typically there is no change in the patient’s voice. There is further change and improvement in snoring and sleep apnea for about 9 weeks.

Schedule a consultation

If you are interested in UPPP and would like more information, contact our office at 512.601.0303 to schedule a consultation with ENT specialist Dr. Daniel Slaughter.

Sinus & Snoring Specialists is proud to be a designated Center of Excellence for Balloon Sinuplasty.   

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