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Laryngoscope. 2007 Mar;117(3):503-6.

Quality of life 17 to 20 years after uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.

Author information

  • 1YH Goh Ear Nose Throat, Head and Neck Surgery, Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Republic of Singapore. ignatiusmark@gmail.com



To study the long-term quality of life outcomes of a group of unselected patients for the long-term effects of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP).


Retrospective chart review and telephone survey.


Forty-nine patients who underwent UPPP between July 1980 and July 1983 and who had their medical records were reviewed and were asked to grade on a visual analogue scale (VAS) the clinical benefits and complications of UPPP after the surgery.


Forty-three (87.8%) males and six (12.2%) female patients were studied. Improvement in snoring, excessive daytime somnolence, and nocturnal arousals were seen after UPPP with decreased effectiveness after time. The most common complication of UPPP was velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) (28.5%); however, dry throat and swallowing difficulty tended to be more severe in those patients who had them. No correlation between the snoring and VPI VAS grades was observed. Forty-three patients had a preoperative sleep study and 22 patients a postoperative sleep study. There was lack of correlation between the significant subjective clinical improvement and their postoperative polysomnography.


When undertaking UPPP, both subjective and objective benefits should be weighed against the risk of long-term ill effects. Patients should also be warned that the long-term side effects such as VPI, dry throat, and abnormal swallowing sensation might be more common than previously expected.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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