Monday, May 11, 2009

An outpatient surgery to alleviate sleep apnea, LAUP

If your case of sleep apnea isn’t severe you might want to ask your doctor about LAUP. Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty vaporizes the uvula and parts of the soft tissue that obstructs the patient’s night time sleeping. The best part about this procedure is that you don’t have to stay over night and the doctor uses a local anesthesia. The whole procedure is done while you are sitting in an upright chair; I guess it is like being at the dentist.

Unfortunately you can’t it all done in one sitting, it takes about 5 visits to get it done. These visits are spaced out between 4 and 5 weeks presumably to let the discomfort in your throat to subside. After each procedure the patient will feel as if they have a sore throat which can be treated with medicine.

Since I have severe sleep apnea I’m not a candidate for this procedure. But if your OSA isn’t severe (according to your sleep study) you should definitely ask your doctor about it.

Last week I posted about throat exercises to help relieve Sleep apnea. Well I found this article from WebMD that there is some proof that throat and tongue exercises really work.

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  1. Hi,

    I have moderate to severe sleep apnea as indicated by a sleep study (27 events/hr). I have a long soft palate. I was about to have surgery and found something suggesting sleeping without a pillow. Interestingly, I can now get by on 6 to 8 hours of sleep. It was hard to get used to, but after 40 years of apnea - what a difference. I can always have surgery, etc. later if it comes to that.

    If you lay on your side and relax your throat, you can tell if you will have an airway obstruction - then without the pillow my neck is in a different position and the airway feels more open. This will not work for everyone, but it is worth trying...

  2. It sounds like a good idea but unfortunately I have acid reflux also so my head has to be elevated.
    Thanks for the comment