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Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1999 Apr;24(2):95-103.

A three-centre prospective pilot study to elucidate the effect of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty on patients with mild obstructive sleep apnoea due to velopharyngeal obstruction.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK.


In this paper we describe the outcome of a prospective study designed to investigate the role of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty in the management of mild obstructive sleep apnoea. A group of 21 patients fulfilling strict inclusion and exclusion criteria underwent uvulopalatopharyngoplasty performed by a single surgeon using a modified technique. Specifically designed daily pain questionnaires were completed by the patients for 2 weeks after surgery and the morbidity associated with the procedure was assessed at 2, 6 and 12 weeks after operation. Thirteen of the 21 patients underwent a postoperative sleep study at 3 months after operation. The outcome measures used were the apnoea/hypopnoea index, the minimum O2 saturation, the sleep arousal index, the sleep architecture the Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, the subjective improvement in both the patient's and their partner's sleep and the morbidity associated with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. We conclude that the patients with mild obstructive sleep apnoea most likely to obtain significant benefit from uvulopalatopharyngoplasty are those with a body mass index of between 27 and 30 with no cephalometric disproportion, those with frequent arousals not associated with periodic limb movements, those whose sleep related breathing disorder is not positional and most importantly those with symptomatic day time sleepiness.

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