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Sleep Apnea: Uvulopalatoplasty - Topic Overview

Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a technique that uses lasers to perform surgery for some sleep-related breathing disorders. It may be used if you have:

  • Loud, habitual snoring. Research shows, though, that snoring may return, usually within 2 years after the surgery.1
  • Upper airway resistance syndrome, in which nighttime breathing is obstructed but does not actually stop. Symptoms include feeling sleepy during the day, snoring a lot, and waking up frequently during the night.
  • Mild obstructive sleep apnea, which is stopped or slowed breathing during sleep.

There is debate about whether the laser procedure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). LAUP has not shown any major benefit for people who have sleep apnea.2 And problems swallowing and voice changes are common side effects from LAUP.

Recommended Related to Sleep Apnea

Mouth Devices for Sleep Apnea

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea -- a condition in which relaxation of the muscles around the tongue and throat causes the tissues to block airflow to the lungs while you sleep -- there are a number of treatment options to discuss with your doctor. Two of the most widely used and most effective are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and dental appliances, or mouth guards.

Read the Mouth Devices for Sleep Apnea article > >

LAUP is not recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to treat sleep apnea.3, 4

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 17, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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