Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure that removes excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider.

This sometimes can allow air to move through the throat more easily when you breathe, reducing the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The tissues that are removed may include:

  • The soft fingerlike tissue that hangs down from the back of the roof of the mouth into the throat (uvula).
  • Part of the roof of the mouth (soft palate).
  • Excess throat tissue, tonsils, and adenoids.

If an enlarged tongue is a factor in your sleep apnea, the surgeon may remove a small part of the tongue. This is called an uvulopalatopharyngoglossoplasty.

uppp

Why It Is Done

Your doctor may suggest UPPP if you:

  • Have excess tissue in your nose, mouth, or throat that blocks your airway.
  • Choose not to use (or cannot use) CPAP.
  • Do not get better after using CPAP.
  • Do not want to have an opening made in your windpipe (tracheostomy) to treat sleep apnea.

Additional information