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Keywords:

  • Er,Cr:YSGG;
  • KTP;
  • CO2;
  • LAUP;
  • snoring;
  • palatal surgery;
  • histology

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the Er,Cr:YSGG (Waterlase) laser with KTP and CO2 lasers in laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) for treatment of snoring.

Study Design: This is a prospective study of 63 patients who were treated for snoring by LAUP either with Er,Cr:YSGG (n = 21) or with KTP (n = 21) or CO2 lasers (n = 21). Histologic analysis was performed, and the effects of KTP and Waterlase on soft tissue were compared.

Methods: Patients were examined by an ENT surgeon and tested with polysomnography. Probands who suffered from obstructive sleep apnea or had an apnea-hypopnea index of 15 or greater were excluded from the study. The remaining patients were assigned to either Er,Cr:YSGG, KTP, or CO2 laser therapy. The three lasers were compared from a postoperative recovery point of view by immunohistochemical examination.

Results: Pain medications were used on average for 4.1, 6.5, and 10.1 days, and the times to return to normal diet were on average 4.5, 6.8, and 8.6 days in the Er,Cr:YSGG, KTP, and CO2 groups, respectively. Two cases of bleeding were observed in the CO2 group. Foreign body sensation occurred in 14%, 19%, and 19% of subjects in the Er,Cr:YSGG, KTP, and CO2 groups, respectively. Velopharyngeal insufficiency was noticed in one KTP treated patient; however, it was transient. Snoring and apnea-hypopnea index was significantly reduced in all groups. Significantly larger coagulation of soft tissue was found in the KTP group than in the Waterlase group.

Conclusions: Patients treated with Waterlase recovered more quickly in comparison with patients in the KTP and CO2 groups, which was confirmed by immunohistochemical findings. The laser techniques did not differ in effectiveness.