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J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2000 Aug;28(4):213-6.

Single-stage CO2 laser assisted uvuloplasty for treatment of snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea.

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  • 1Loma Linda University, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, CA, USA.



The purpose of this study was to describe a single-stage laser assisted uvuloplasty (uvulectomy) and to determine its effectiveness in treatment of snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).


All patients treated with laser assisted uvuloplasty in a 49-month period for snoring and/or mild OSA were studied. Frequency of snoring before and after surgery, loudness of snoring and postoperative discomfort were investigated. Patients were asked to evaluate change in daytime energy, sleep habits, missed days of work and also overall satisfaction following laser assisted uvuloplasty.


Thirty patients underwent a single-stage laser assisted uvuloplasty. A preoperative diagnosis of OSA was established in 19 patients, the remaining 11 patients were treated for snoring. There were no complications and only one patient required an additional stage. A questionnaire was completed by 18 patients (10 patients diagnosed with sleep apnoea, and eight patients with snoring only). Preoperatively the frequency of snoring averaged 9.3 cm on a visual analogue scale. Postoperatively there were 12 patients with either none or very minimal snoring and six patients who had an average score of 3.2. Loudness of snoring also decreased from an average of 5.4 to 2.5 cm. Postoperative discomfort averaged 1.1 cm. Improvement in sleep was noted by 16 patients and improved daytime energy was noted by 17 patients. Eleven patients reported that they missed at least one day of work postoperatively with an average of 3 days missed. Patient satisfaction was reported by 17 patients with only one stating that he was unsatisfied with the procedure.


Laser-assisted uvuloplasty (uvulectomy) is an effective surgical procedure for treatment of snoring and some types of OSA. A single-stage procedure appears to be effective and may further decrease the morbidity associated with this disease.

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