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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2000 Dec;58(12):1342-5; discussion 1345-6.

Fiberoptic nasopharyngolaryngoscopy for airway monitoring after obstructive sleep apnea surgery.

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Stanford University Sleep Disorders and Research Center, CA, USA.



This study evaluated the upper airway characteristics in the early postoperative period after reconstructive surgery for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).


During a 24-month period, the upper airway of patients who underwent uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) with genioglossus advancement (GA) or hyoid myotomy (HM) or maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) were evaluated with fiberoptic nasopharyngolaryngoscopy (NPG) preoperatively and 24 to 72 hours postoperatively.


NPG was performed on 271 patients. One hundred seventy-three patients had UPPP with GA or HM, and the remainder had MMA. All of the patients who underwent UPPP with GA or HM were found to have varying degrees of soft tissue edema involving the soft palate and the tongue base. The patients who underwent tonsillectomies and UPPP with GA or HM had greater soft palate/pharyngeal wall edema. In contrast, patients who underwent MMA had minimal edema involving the soft palate and the base of tongue, but diffuse lateral pharyngeal wall edema throughout the upper airway was identified. Eighteen of the MMA patients had ecchymosis and edema involving the pyriform sinus and aryepiglottic fold; 4 of these patients also had a hypopharyngeal hematoma involving the pyriform sinus, aryepiglottic fold, arytenoid, and false vocal cord, which partially obstructed the airway. These 4 patients were closely monitored for 1 to 2 additional days, and all were discharged without problems. None of the patients in the study had postoperative airway obstruction.


NPG may be useful in postoperative airway monitoring and assist in discharge planning after upper airway reconstruction in the OSA patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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