During normal breathing, air passes through the throat on its way to the lungs. The air travels past the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, and tongue. When a person is awake, the muscles in the back of the throat tighten to hold these structures in place preventing them from collapsing or vibrating in the airway. During , the uvula and soft palate frequently vibrate causing the distinctive sounds of snoring. These structures can fall into the airway causing snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
The LAUP procedure is a laser surgical procedure designed to sequentially trim and shorten these structures, thus preventing or reducing snoring.
Risks and Complications. You have the right to be informed that the surgery may involve risks of unsuccessful results, complications, or injury from both known and unforeseen causes. Because individuals vary in their tissue circulation and healing processes, as well as anesthetic reactions, ultimately there can be no guarantee made as to the results or potential complications. The following complications have been reported in the medical literature. This list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible complication. They are listed here for your information only, not to frighten you, but to make you aware and more knowledgeable concerning this surgical procedure.
1. Failure to resolve the snoring. Most surgeons feel that about 85% of patients who undergo a LAUP will have a significant or complete resolution in their snoring and an additional percentage of patients will notice reduced levels of snoring such that theirpartners will report that it’s level is no longer offensive.
2. Failure to cureapnea or other pathological disorders. Pathological disorders, like apnea, are medical problems which may have associated serious complications. At this time, the LAUP procedure has not been proven to cure these disorders.
3. Bleeding. In very rare situations, a need for blood products or a blood transfusion. You have the right, should you choose, to have autologous or designated donor directed blood pre-arranged. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor if you are interested.
4. Nasal regurgitation, a change in voice, or velopharyngeal insufficiency when liquids may flow into the nasal cavity during swallowing (rare).
5. Failure to resolve coexisting sinus, tonsil, or nasal problems.
6. Need for revision, or further and more aggressive surgery.
7. Prolonged pain, impaired healing, and the need for hospitalization.
apnea is characterized by loud snoring and disturbed or interrupted patterns. apnea can have serious consequences including cardiac problems. Frequently patients will awaken in the morning with a headache. If they become deprived they may feel sleepy all day, and may fall asleep while driving in the car.
apnea is diagnosed by a sleep study. During a study, the patient’s breathing patterns, heart rhythm and brain waves are monitored.
If it is found thatapnea is present, most doctors recommend the use of CPAP. CPAP is a breathing device worn during to help keep the airway open. In some situations surgery is recommended. The uvulopalatopharyngoplasty with or without tonsillectomy are surgical procedures designed to open the airway. In rare situations, a tracheostomy is necessary. These are procedures designed to circumvent this related collapse of these structures.
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