For years, I struggled with difficulty swallowing. It was more than frustrating, and it led to countless near-choking experiences. I knew that I had to do something to fix the situation, so I started focusing more carefully on finding the right medical practitioner. I started looking around, and I was able to find a great provider that worked within my insurance. It was awesome to work with her, and she helped me to identify the cause of the problem. This blog is all about getting help with your throat and knowing how to overcome ear, nose, and throat problems. Check it out.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by tissues in your upper airway that block air when you breathe. When you fall asleep, your airway becomes very relaxed and this allows the excess tissues to collapse your airway and cause snoring sounds. There are different treatments for this condition and one of them is a surgical procedure that removes the tissues so they can no longer block your airway and cause apnea. Here is some information about the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP, procedure.
When UPPP Is Done
Your doctor may want to try other forms of sleep apnea treatment before recommending the UPPP procedure. Sometimes, something as simple as losing excess weight can improve obstructive sleep apnea. You might also try wearing a CPAP machine at night while you sleep to keep your airway open. If these treatments don't work or if they aren't suitable for your condition, then surgery is an option that may help. The first step is to undergo sleep testing so the doctor can determine the cause of your obstruction to see if UPPP will help.
How The Procedure Is Carried Out
The UPPP sleep apnea procedure requires general anesthesia and it is commonly done in a hospital with an overnight stay to monitor your condition. However, it's possible you may have the surgery at an outpatient clinic and go home the same evening. Once you are under the general anesthesia, the doctor removes the excess tissue in your upper airway. This might include your tonsils, soft palate, adenoids, uvula, and possibly part of the base of your tongue. When these tissues are removed, the incisions are closed with stitches that will eventually dissolve and be absorbed by your body. When the surgery is over, you'll be monitored for swelling in your airway that could cause breathing complications. When the effects of the anesthesia wear off, you'll be given medications to reduce swelling and pain. Then you'll spend the night in the hospital for observation or go home and begin your recovery.
What To Expect During Recovery
It will take you several weeks to fully recover from UPPP surgery. Your sore throat may last for several days and you may feel like you have something caught in your throat due to the stitches. You can apply ice packs to your throat to help reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor may advise you to keep your head elevated, even when you sleep to help control swelling. You may not notice an improvement in your sleep apnea right away because your airway will have some swelling that causes obstruction when you fall asleep. For that reason, you may need to continue with CPAP and other treatments such as sleeping on your side with your head elevated until the swelling has gone down.
You'll also need to limit your activities until your doctor gives you permission to do things such as drive, lift heavy objects, exercise, and return to work. You may need to take off from work for several days depending on the type of work you do. While you need to take it easy to prevent complications and bleeding from your surgery, you don't want to be sedentary the entire time. Gentle daily exercise such as walking can help you avoid blood clots, pneumonia, and constipation due to inactivity.
UPPP is one of the most common procedures for sleep apnea, but it is not the only surgical treatment available. Your doctor can help you decide if this surgery is right for you based on your symptoms and testing. If you struggle with sleep apnea, finding the proper treatment is critical for your good physical and mental health.Share
21 May 2017