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Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is surgery to remove part or all of your uvula, soft palate, pharynx, or tonsils. Your soft palate is the back of the roof of your mouth. The uvula is the small piece of flesh that hangs at the back of your throat. The pharynx is your throat. UPPP may help you breathe easier, decrease snoring, and treat your sleep apnea.


HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need blood or urine tests before your surgery. You may also need x-rays, an EKG, or a pharyngoscopy. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your surgery:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Medical tools will be used to hold your mouth open during the surgery. Your surgeon will use a laser to remove tissues that are blocking your throat. He may remove part or all of your uvula. He may remove your soft palate and tissues in your throat. Your tonsils and adenoids may also be removed. Your surgeon will watch for problems, such as bleeding. He may need to use stitches that absorb to stop the bleeding.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.
  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.
  • You are confused.

Risks

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. The sound of your voice may change. You may lose your sense of taste temporarily. It may feel like there is a lump in your throat when you swallow. The laser may scar the inside of your throat. Your snoring or sleep apnea may not go away or may get worse. You may need another UPPP.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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