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Keywords:

  • UPF;
  • sleep apnea;
  • uvulopalatal flap;
  • OSA;
  • Level of Evidence: 2b

Abstract

Objective:

To study long-term results in patients undergoing uvulopalatal flap (UPF) for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Design:

Prospective, clinical trial at tertiary referral center.

Material and Methods:

A study was undertaken on 83 OSA patients with palatal obstruction based on radiography and physical findings. UPF was conducted to increase the airway space and data were analyzed.

Results:

Patients had a mean age of 36.5 ± 12.3 years and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 29.4 ± 4.3 kg/m2. The mean follow-up was 54.2 ± 8.9 months, with a range of 48 to 62 months. The mean baseline apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), short-term AHI, and long-term AHI were 45.6 ± 10.3, 13.4 ± 5.2, and 19.4 ± 5.1, respectively. The mean baseline lowest oxygen saturation (LSAT), short-term LSAT, and long-term LSAT were 82.6 ± 5.4%, 89.2 ± 4.8%, and 88.1 ± 3.2%, respectively. Forty-three patients (51.8%) had long-term success, and 15 patients(25.8%) had an increase in the AHI over the follow-up period such that they were no longer considered success by traditional AHI criteria. Serious complications were not encountered.

Conclusions:

UPF is a safe and effective procedure that results in long-term success for OSA. However, a regular follow-up is important because some patients will relapse in the long term. Laryngoscope, 2011