Lateral pharyngoplasty is an innovative procedure that is only performed by a few surgeons in the world. Lateral pharyngoplasty is performed on the soft palate (back of the roof of the mouth) and the sides of the throat, moving tissue around after removing the tonsils (for patients without previous tonsillectomy).
Lateral pharyngoplasty is more commonly used for patients who have thicker tissues of the palate and sides of the throat. It helps to increase the space for breathing behind the soft palate and also can reduce collapse of the sides of the throat.
This procedure has shown benefits in certain patients with obstructive sleep apnea in a randomized trial compared with the simpler, traditional soft palate surgery technique (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). Better results make the extra time and effort required to perform this procedure worthwhile. Because of this, lateral pharyngoplasty is one of the techniques that our surgeons use often in soft palate surgery.