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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Nov;265(11):1361-5. doi: 10.1007/s00405-008-0640-x. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

UPPP combined with radiofrequency thermotherapy of the tongue base for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, St. Lucas Andreas Hospital, Jan Tooropstraat 164, 1061 AE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Dec;265(12):1577.


We investigated the outcome of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) combined with radiofrequency thermotherapy of the tongue base (RFTB) in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) with both palatal and retroglossal obstruction, and we compared these results with the results of single level surgery (UPPP). A retrospective cohort study was performed in patients with mild to severe OSAS who underwent UPPP with or without RFTB. Seventy-five patients with both palatal and retroglossal obstruction underwent UPPP, 38 patients without RFTB (group 1) and 37 patients with RFTB (group 2). The outcome of the surgery was measured by both objective success (defined as a reduction of AHI >50% and AHI below 20) and subjective improvement. In group 1 the overall success rate was 42%, and in group 2 49%. Other polysomnographic values (AI, DI, mean SaO2) improved after surgery (not significant). No serious adverse events occurred. Surgical treatment of combined palatal and retroglossal obstruction remains a challenge. Adding RFTB to UPPP results in a mild improvement compared to UPPP alone. Although the addition of RFTB to UPPP seems to result in only a limited improvement, there is no major downside to it. RFTB is well tolerated and safe.

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