Modified laser uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for the treatment of snoring and symptoms of sleep apnea - A preliminary report

C. F. Hwang*, C. Y. Su, C. Y. Chien, C. M. Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Background: Habitual snoring is a common ailment which may cause both physical and social problems. People with obstructive sleep apnea may also have hypertension, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia or right ventricular failure. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) are the most commonly used methods to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. However, there are some drawbacks to both methods. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a modified laser UPPP. Methods: From April 1995 through October 1997, fifteen patients with snoring and tonsillar hypertrophy underwent a modified laser UPPP. Of the 15 patients, 11 were found to have symptoms of sleep apnea. The surgical procedure included bilateral tonsillectomies, suture of pillar mucosa and laser uvulopalatoplasty. Results: Our results show a significant decrease in the incidence of snoring and the symptoms of sleep apnea in about 80% of the patients. There were only minor postoperative complications. No serious complications such as velopharyngeal insufficiency or nasopharyngeal stenosis were noted in the patients of this series. Conclusions: The modified surgical procedure was found to be an alternative treatment for patients with snoring and tonsillar hypertrophy. However, further research and long-term follow-up are required to confirm of the efficacy of this method for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Otolaryngological Society of the Republic of China
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Laser uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
  • Sleep apnea syndrome
  • Snoring


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