WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Uvuloplasty (u-vew-lo-plah-stee) is surgery to take out the uvula (u-vew-luh). The uvula is the small bit of flesh dangling down in the back of the throat. This surgery is called LASUP for short when a laser is used to do the surgery. Your tonsils may also be taken out if they have not already been removed. Uvuloplasty is done to help stop snoring or obstructive (ub-struk-tiv) sleep apnea or "OSA." This surgery may only give limited relief of your symptoms because there are many causes for obstructive sleep apnea. Ask caregivers for the CareNotes™ handout about sleep apnea for more information.
- After surgery, your throat may get so swollen it might close completely. This happens very rarely. To prevent this, your caregiver may put a tracheostomy tube in your throat before starting the surgery. This tube is usually used only when your obstruction is severe or you are extremely overweight. The tracheostomy tube is temporary and is removed when the swelling and bleeding have stopped.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
Your medicines are:____.
- Keep a written list of what medicines you take and when and why you take them. Bring the list of your medicines or the pill bottles when you see your caregivers. Ask your caregiver for information about your medicines. Do not take any medicines, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs, or food supplements without first talking to caregivers. Your caregivers can find out if these medicines interact with other medicines that you are taking.
- Always take your medicine as directed by caregivers. Call your caregiver if you think your medicines are not helping or if you feel you are having side effects. Do not quit taking it until you discuss it with your caregiver. If you are taking antibiotics (an-ti-bi-ah-tiks), take them until they are all gone even if you feel better.
- If you are taking medicine that makes you drowsy, do not drive or use heavy equipment.
Call your caregiver in ____ days for a follow-up visit. Write down questions you have about your health problems and how they are being treated. This way you'll remember to ask these questions during your next visit.
Following are ways to lessen bleeding after surgery.
- Try not to cough or clear your throat. Coughing may make your throat more sore and also cause bleeding.
- Bad breath is common for a short time after surgery. You may rinse out your mouth if it smells or tastes bad but do not gargle. Gargling can also cause bleeding.
Drink only liquids during the first 48 hours after surgery. Drink 6 to 8 (soda-pop can size) glasses of liquid each day. Or, follow your caregiver's advice if you are on a fluid limit. While your throat is very sore, drink liquids such as milk, milkshakes, ice cream, soups, or instant breakfast milk drinks. Limit the amount of caffeine you drink, such as coffee, tea, and soda. Avoid fruit juices until your throat heals because they have acid that can burn your throat.
Using a cool-mist humidifier moistens the air in your home. The moist air helps lessen your throat soreness and coughing. Wash the humidifier each day with soap and warm water to keep it germ free.
Ice causes blood vessels to constrict (get small) which helps lessen inflammation (swelling, pain, and redness). Ice is best started after surgery and for the next 24 to 48 hours afterwards. Put crushed ice in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel. Place this over your throat for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as long as you need it. Do not sleep on the ice pack because you could get frostbite.
Rest and Activities:
- Rest in bed as much as needed for 2 days. Light activities, such as walking outdoors are OK after 48 hours. You may return to your usual activities when you feel ready. But, you should have a rest time every day for a week. You should be able to return to your usual activities in 2 weeks.
- You may drive in ____ days.
- You may return to work in ____ days.
You will probably have a follow-up sleep study some time after surgery. The study helps caregivers find out if your symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea have improved.
It is never too late to quit smoking if you smoke. Smoking slows healing and may make your throat more sore. Smoking also harms the heart, lungs, and the blood. You are more likely to have a heart attack, lung disease, and cancer if you smoke. You will help yourself and those around you by not smoking. Ask your caregiver for the CareNotes™ handout on how to stop smoking if you are having trouble quitting.
CALL ____ IF:
- You have any bleeding from your nose, mouth, or if you vomit fresh blood. Small streaks of blood in your sputum (spit) are normal.
- Your stitches are swollen, red, or have pus coming from them. This may mean they are infected.
- The stitches come apart.
- You have a temperature over ____F (____C).
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms. This may mean you are allergic (uh-ler-jik) to your medicine.
- You have any questions or concerns about your medicine or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have trouble breathing all of a sudden or have chest pain. This could be a sign that you have a blood clot in your lung. It could also mean that you are allergic to a medicine you are taking.
- You have so much bleeding that it is hard for you to breathe.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.