Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, referred to as UPP for ease, is an operation to assist with snoring and on occasion obstructive sleep apnoea. The objective is to improve the stability of the upper airway with decreased vibration. This can be achieved by removing the tonsils to increase space and shortening and stiffening the soft palate.
UPP is performed in hospital under general anaesthesia with most people staying for two nights post-operatively. The tonsils, if still present, are removed as per normal tonsillectomy. Shortening and stiffening of the soft palate can be achieved in a number of ways. My preference is to use a special instrument called a coblator to remove some of the soft tissues overlying the muscles of the soft palate in the mouth. These raw areas are then covered by suturing the soft palate forward on itself.
UPP is quite a painful procedure and most people will need to stay in hospital for a couple of days. This is to allow adequate analgesia and appropriate post-operative monitoring.
Discharge from hospital won't occur until I'm happy that a satisfactory diet is being maintained along with adequate fluid intake. Time in hospital will vary from person to person.
A normal diet following surgery is desirable but in the case of UPP is often difficult. Many people tolerate only a soft diet for the first few days. It is most important however that adequate fluid intake is maintained.
I advise taking two weeks of work due to the discomfort. During this period rest time is appropriate.
Unfortunately this is quite a painful procedure. On discharge you will be prescribed Celebrex and Endone. The instructions on how to take these can be found in the postoperative instruction sheet.
Nurofen and Aspirin should not be used.
I normally also prescribe antibiotics to be used for one week.
A small amount of blood in the mucus of the mouth is not uncommon. If bleeding is heavy or prolonged you should contact me.
You will be given instructions for care upon discharge. These are also available to download here. At discharge you will also be given a post-operative appointment and my mobile phone number.
Current recommendations from the Royal Australian College of Surgeons
All new patients must send in a referral before an appointment will be offered
We would request that all our patients comply with the following:
We will endeavour to provide medical care for urgent problems but please understand all staff are exposing themselves to risk by providing these services and we require your cooperation and understanding.
During this time of markedly reduced services Dr. Varley’s standard fees will apply and are those recommended by the AMA.