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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a procedure that uses a laser to remove tissues in your throat. LAUP is used to treat loud snoring and may also be used for mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During sleep the muscles in your throat may get very relaxed. This can block part of your airway (passage from your mouth to your lungs) and lead to snoring. Snoring happens when tissues in your mouth are vibrated by the fast-moving air you breathe in. These tissues, usually the soft palate and uvula, are found in the back of your mouth. OSA can happen if your airway gets completely blocked by tissues at times when you sleep. With OSA, your body may run out of air and you may gasp or wake up to catch your breath. Ask your caregiver for more information about snoring and sleep apnea.
- During LAUP, your caregiver uses a laser to remove parts of your soft palate or uvula. A laser is a very powerful beam of light that can cut away tissues. Your soft palate is the back part of the roof of your mouth. The uvula is the small fleshy structure that hangs down at the back of your throat. LAUP is usually done with local anesthesia and finished in a few minutes. You will be able to go home soon after the procedure is done. You may need to return for more LAUP sessions if you still snore loudly. Having LAUP may let you breathe more easily, stop your snoring, and improve your sleep.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- Ask your caregiver when you need to return to have your throat checked. He will ask you and your family members if your condition has improved. He will ask family members if you still snore and how loudly. He may ask if you still feel very sleepy during the day.
- He may ask you to snort (breathe in air quickly through your nose) to check if you still snore. When you snort, your soft palate moves and makes the same sound as when you are snoring. When there is no sound when you snort, there is a chance that your loud snoring is gone.
- You may need to come back in four weeks for another LAUP session if you still snore loudly. In your next LAUP session, some more tissues will be removed to decrease your snoring.
Caregivers may let you do your usual activities when you are OK. He may not let you lift heavy objects at first. He may let you eat and speak a few hours after your procedure when you are OK.
Usually you may be well enough to eat solid foods after your LAUP. Sometimes your caregiver may only let you eat soft foods for a few days to help your throat heal. He will tell you what kind of foods you can eat.
Keep the correct weight:
Keeping your weight at a healthy level may help prevent your snoring or OSA from coming back. Caregivers will measure your height and weight, and determine if you weigh more than you should. . Ask your caregiver how much you should weight. Ask your caregiver for more information on diet and activity changes you can make to get to a healthy weight.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You cannot make it to your next appointment.
- You have pain in your throat even after taking medicines.
- You have questions or concerns about your recovery, medicine, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You get a fever or chills.
- You are coughing up or throwing up blood.
- You have trouble breathing or chest pain all of a sudden.
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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.