J Rhinol.  2011 May;18(1):29-34.

Radiofrequency-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty with Tonsillectomy for the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine Konkuk University, Chungju, Korea. lim516@kku.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
In radiofrequency surgery, energy is usually delivered to the submucosal tissue of the palate through a special probe in order to reduce the volume and rigidity (palatal channeling). However, the same probe can be used to make cuts in the free edge of the soft palate, as in laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty [radiofrequency-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (RAUP)]. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the role of RAUP with tonsillectomy for the treatment of mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Eighty-two patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (5< or =AHI<30, BMI<30) were included in this clinical trial. All patients received RAUP with tonsillectomy. Patients were followed for six months and were asked to respond to a questionnaire regarding standard visual analogue score pattern. Assessment was performed prior to the surgery and was repeated six month postoperatively. Visual analogue scores were measured for the parameters of pain, speech deficits, dysphagia and snoring (according to the partner). The Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) was also utilized. Polysomnography was conducted preoperatively and was repeated six months postoperatively.
RESULTS
There were significant differences in improvement of snoring, ESS and AHI before and after the procedure, and the success rate of the surgical treatment was 62%. Postoperative pain, speech disturbance, dysphagia were decreased two weeks after the operation.
CONCLUSION
The results of the study suggest that RAUP with tonsillectomy is an effective treatment for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Keyword

Obstructive sleep apnea; Radiofrequency; Uvulopalatoplasty; Tonsillectomy
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