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Acta Otolaryngol. 1991;111(3):582-90.

Long-time follow-up after UPPP for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Results of sleep apnea recordings and subjective evaluation 6 months and 2 years after surgery.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Karolinska Institute, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden.


Fifty unselected consecutive patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) underwent uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). The diagnosis was based on the patient's history and recording of respiration movements (Static Charge Sensitive Bed. SCSB) and oximetry, alone or combined with polysomnography. Renewed SCSB oximetry recordings were used to evaluate the success of the treatment. Six months postoperatively 40% of the patients were classified as non-responders, i.e. their oxygen desaturation indices (ODI) were reduced by less than 50% or were still above 20. The mean body mass index (BMI) was significantly higher in the non-responder group. A second recording with complete data was obtained in 45 patients after an average of 21 months. It was found that 9 patients who had been responders in the first postoperative recording had become non-responders. Only 18 of the patients with complete data could be verified as responders after 2 years. The patients who relapsed showed a significant increase in mean BMI between the first and second postoperative recordings compared to the patients who remained responders. There were no significant differences between responders and non-responders concerning age or preoperative severity of OSAS expressed as ODI, nadir SaO2 and percentage of obstructive periodic breathing. Of the non-responders, 47% in the first postoperative recording and 52% in the second reported complete recovery from excessive daytime sleepiness. This subjective improvement was not correlated to the objective results. The conclusions of this study are thus that one postoperative recording is not enough to estimate the outcome of UPPP and that statements of the patient's subjective recovery alone must not be used for this purpose.

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