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UPPP effective?
Hello,

I'm 27 years old and have been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea.  I am not overweight and I cannot stand the CPAP.  My ENT said I'm a good candidate for UPPP, but from all the horror stories I read online, I opted to just have a tonsillectomy.  After a couple weeks after the surgery, my sleep apnea symptoms returned.  My symptoms are that I wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night.

I am now seriously considering UPPP.  I will be meeting with my ENT as well as another ENT for a second opinion.

My biggest fear is that I will permanently have difficulty swallowing, my voice will change, and worst of all, still need the CPAP (which would render the surgery useless for me).

From your experience, is UPPP generally successful in ridding the patient's dependence from the CPAP machine?  

Would you recommend the procedure to any of your patients?  

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


Thanks,

Mike
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Avatar universal
While you are waiting for a doctor to respond, I'll just throw out some things to think about. I know 3 people personally who have had that procedure, and they had varying degrees of improvement in their apnea. I don't know the severity of their apnea. The one thing they had in common - all wished they had not had their uvula removed. I think most times these days doctors revise it instead of remove it.

The surgery you are considering does help some people, the milder the apnea the better. Some it enables to use a dental device for the remaining apnea. Sounds like you are going into this with your eyes wide open. No one can give you a 100% guarantee, but the doctors should, based on your throat anatomy, let you know your best odds. You may be one of the fortunate ones.

You say you are doing this because you can't stand the cpap. I don't know how long you tried or what about it you couldn't stand - maybe you did give it a "tried absolutely everything to make it work" effort. That would mean possibly weeks or months of nightly use and tweaking the treatment and trying different masks. All I know is the 3 guys I knew who had surgery all decided they couldn't use cpap as soon as they tried it.

Considering your reservations about the surgery, maybe another effort at cpap would be in order. If so, post specifically what your problems are and maybe someone can tell you "how they got over". As for me, I was a cpap quitter, but within months knew I had to do it due to increasing health issues. Took me a long time to be able to say it, but now I can't imagine sleeping without it. It's the best sleep I've had in years.

Best wishes whatever you decide.
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Hey, I am getting this same surgery in 3 days (this Friday) and in the same boat as you. I have very mild obstructive sleep apnea, I'm not overweight at all and my doctor recommended that including my tonsils. I was thinking about not doing the uvula for the very same reasons you were thinking of not doing it. I've heard some horror stories, heard about potential long term effects yet I don't like the idea of the CPAP mask. Because I'm not overweight, in good health and have very mild obstructive sleep apnea, from what I understand that makes me a good candidate for success. I just worry about the after effects.

Did you change your mind and go with the UPPP surgery? If so, did you have any unwanted effects likes trouble swallowing or voice changes? My doctor said my voice wouldn't change and that I may notice difficulty (or rather a strange difference) trying to get nasal phlegm out of the throat at first, but that the body adjusts. Just curious what your experience was like if you did.
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