Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2011 Jul;54(7):467-472. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.7.467.

Comparative Analysis for the Surgical Outcomes of Uvulopalatal Flap and Palatal Muscle Resection in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea. choks@pusan.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to compare the surgical outcomes of uvulopalatal flap (UPF) and palatal muscle resection (PMR) techniques in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). SUBJECTS AND METHOD: Forty-three consecutive patients (40 men and 3 women) with OSA were included. Only patients with Fujita type I obstruction were enrolled in this study. Patients with macroglossia or retrognathia were excluded from the study. Twenty patients underwent a UPF and twenty-three patients underwent a PMR. In both groups, nasal surgery was performed if necessary. Questionnaires based on Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) about snoring, apnea, morning headache, tiredness, daytime sleepiness and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were analyzed before and after each surgical treatment. Preoperative and postoperative polysomnography (PSG) were completed by every patient.
In UPF group, every aspect of VAS except morning headache was significantly improved after surgery. In PMR group, every aspect of VAS and ESS were significantly improved after surgery. Comparing the surgical outcomes between two groups, every VAS and ESS showed much better result in PMR than UPF group. In both UPF and PMR group, the mean apnea-hypopnea index decreased significantly after surgery. However, there's no significant difference between two groups in the PSG findings.
PMR could be a better surgical technique than UPF with respect to subjective outcome although both UPF and PMR are effective surgical techniques for the treatment of OSA with Fujita type I obstruction.


Obstructive sleep apnea; Soft palate; Operative surgical procedures
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