For many patients your uvula or the “bell” in the back of the middle of your throat may be enlarged or elongated. Many in-office techniques cannot address the uvula directly. For instance, the pillar implants are only placed into the soft palate and may not be placed into the uvula. For these circumstances, Dr. Pasha may recommend a uvuloplasty or reshaping of the uvula.
Dr. Pasha does not remove the uvula.
Dr. Pasha believes that everything in the body has a purpose including the uvula. He believes that the uvula has several functions including “funneling” secretions from the nose down the center of the palate so that you may unknowingly swallow it. The uvula may also serve in roles in swallowing and speech.
In the office, Dr. Pasha may remove a portion of the uvula. This minor procedure is done under local anesthesia by “freezing” the uvula first.
Reshaping the uvula may cause a sore throat for 7-10 days. You will be given pain medications and antibiotics to control the discomfort. In some cases, Dr. Pasha may require for you to take time off work or school while you heal from a uvuloplasty. Uvuloplasties are low risk procedures with a potential of bleeding.
No guarantees can be made regarding the success of this procedure; however, studies have shown that reshaping of the uvula can result in a decrease or elimination of snoring and reduction of gasping from mild sleep apnea.
The procedure typically may be completed in the office within thirty minutes. You should plan to be in the office for about one hour in order to prepare and complete the paperwork.
Since the procedure is done in the office, recovery is much quicker with less discomfort. Dr. Pasha uses sprays and gels to numb up the area prior to any injection. This reduces the discomfort of the injection considerably. Pain after the surgery varies widely. Generally speaking, one should anticipate soreness in the area for 5-10 days after the procedure.
Initially, you may be requested to be on a soft diet for 5-7 days. Once the healing is complete you may resume a normal diet.
Because the procedure is done in the office, severe complications are extremely rare.
Bleeding is a complication that is infrequent. If this occurs the bleeding is typically handled in the office. Operating room cauterization for bleeding is rare.
This procedure rarely affects swallowing or causes significant voice changes.
As with any sleep apnea procedure failure is a possibility, as no guarantee can be made for any snoring/sleep apnea procedure. A more comprehensive list of potential complications will be discussed in the office.