Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is Uvula and Uvulectomy?

Uvula is the small fleshy projection that dangles from the soft palate in the back of our mouth and helps in filtering the bacteria and other microbes from entering the digestive tract. Uvula is also said to play a crucial role in articulation of sounds. The surgical removal of uvula is known as uvulectomy. Uvulectomy is done for treating several conditions; one of which is for treating snoring. let us take a look on this to know more about it.

Uvulectomy For Snoring: The Procedure And The Types

Usually, dilator muscles hold back the uvula from sagging. However, in some individuals, because of poor muscle tone, sagging of uvula occurs. Partial sagging of the uvula may cause snoring. this is because it blocks the airways partially. Apart from poor muscle tone, structural abnormalities of the uvula may also block the airways. In case of complete blockage of airways, the person may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Uvula removal surgery or Uvulectomy, is the last alternative treatment for severe cases of snoring. There are two types of uvulectomy. One is a major surgery involving the removal of uvula, the adenoids, the tonsils, pharynx and is known is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP; while the other surgery is laser assisted uvulapalatoplasty, which is comparatively a simpler surgery and is known as laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty or LAUP. In case of LAUP, the uvula and the surrounding region is anesthetized and the uvula is severed with the help of electrocautery (which is known to be beneficial for arresting bleeding). It is the most common form of uvulectomy for snoring. Generally UPPP is done rarely, as it may cause some major complications.

Post-Uvulectomy Care

The patients may be subjected to food restrictions for some days after uvulectomy and it may take around one month to recover from the surgery. Though some patients may get benefits from uvulectomy, some of them may not find any benefit at all. So one needs to go through all the pros and cons before deciding on uvulectomy for snoring.

Uvulectomy For Snoring: Risks And Side Effects

There may be pain for several days after uvolectomy, there may be a change in the patient’s voice after the surgery, there may be a disturbace in the sleep pattern of the patient and there also may be drainage in the nose. There is also a small risk of bleeding and infection after the uvulectomy.

Conclusion

Though uvulectomy for snoring may be sometimes beneficial for people who suffer from severe cases of snoring, it is done only if other ways of treatments fail. So, in case your doctor suggests uvulectomy for snoring or any other uvula problem, make sure to seek the opinion of some expert otolaryngologists before resorting to this surgical method of treatment which is uvulectomy.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 12, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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