Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, also known as UPPP or UP3, involves tonsillectomy (if not done previously) and surgery of the soft palate (back of the roof of the mouth). The procedure incorporates removal of the uvula and a portion of the soft palate, sewing together the edges of the tissues. Although it is the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States to treat sleep apnea, our surgeons perform expansion sphincter pharyngoplasty or lateral pharyngoplasty in the majority of our patients who have palate surgery for two reasons:
- They work better. Randomized clinical trials have shown better results with these two procedures, compared with the UPPP procedure.
- These procedures likely carry lower risks than UPPP because they entail tissue repositioning and less tissue removal.