Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgical procedure to recover certain sleep disorder symptoms such as obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. The operation involves the removal of the uvula and back of the soft palate, often accompanied by tonsillectomy. UPPP is considered as an alternative for the treatment of sleep apnea only after the failure of CPAP devices (continuous positive airway pressure) to cure the condition.


As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. The most common complications include: bleeding, infection, temporary airway obstruction due to postoperative swelling, sore throat and difficulty swallowing, narrowing of the airway in the nose and throat. There is a risk of infection, changes in voice frequency, decreased efficacy of CPAP after UPPP.

Before the Procedure

  1. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the evening before the procedure. This includes all food, liquids, water, candy, mints or gum. You may not be able to undergo the surgery if you do not follow these instructions.
  2. Tell your doctor about any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you take. Ask if you should stop taking them before surgery.
  3. A week before the surgery, please avoid aspirin, aspirin-containing products, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) or Vitamin E. Please notify our office if you are on any medications that affect bleeding, such as coumadin or warfarin. Please call our office if you have any concerns about any medications. (585-342-2080)

After the Procedure

Activity: Rest is encouraged for the first two weeks following surgery. Activity may progress gradually as tolerated, but avoid strenuous activity for approximately two weeks. Avoid bending, lifting, or straining.

Diet: Fluids are more important than solids. Begin with clear liquids and advance to a soft diet as tolerated. Liquids are appropriate for the first 3 to 5 days following surgery. Fluids may be given in almost any form, such as: water, apple or grape juice, popsicles, jell-o, gatorade, soup, Kool-Aid, sherbet. Avoid carbonated drinks, citrus or pulpy juices as they may irritate and cause pain. Examples of soft foods: mashed potatoes, pudding, yogurt, ice cream, applesauce, soups. Liquids may reflux up into the nose upon swallowing, though this typically decreases over time. By taking small sips, you should reduce the likelihood of this occurring. You should have urinary output at least twice per day that is normal in amount and color. If persistent vomiting occurs, please notify our office.

Congestion: The use of a mist vaporizer or humidifier may help to relieve dryness of the nose and mouth.

Pain: Anticipate a fair amount of discomfort. Pain medication will be prescribed for you, and should be taken as needed and as directed. Pain in the throat and ears may last for ten to fourteen days. An ice pack to the neck may help for the first one to two days. Throat lozenges, hard candy, or chewing gum will also help to decrease the discomfort. If you are having excessive pain, do not hesitate to call our office at 585-342-2080.

Bleeding: It is common for light bleeding to occur during the first 48 hours following discharge from the hospital, though it is not usually serious. If persistent bleeding occurs beyond this time, please contact our office.

Infection: Antibiotics may be prescribed after you leave the hospital. If so, please take these medications as prescribed. If you develop a fever greater than 101° F please contact our office.

Follow-Up: Our office will notify you of your follow-up appointment date and time.

Please call our office at 585-342-2080 for any of the following:

  1. Persistent bleeding
  2. Inability to eat or drink
  3. Fever above 101°F
  4. Nausea and/or vomiting
  5. Pain not relieved by prescribed medications and instructions above.
  6. Please do not hesitate to call our office with any other questions or concerns.