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Old 08-09-2006, 11:43 AM   #1
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Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

I respectfully request any and all advice and stories from others that have had a partial soft pallet and uvula removal to help with sleep apnea. I am due to have sinus surgery to open windows in all of my sinus cavaties, my tonsils and adnoids removed, and a UPPP (partial soft pallet and uvula removal) on September 5, 2006. I am sure about the need and benifits of the sinus windows and T&A removal; but, I am hesitant about the UPPP. All references and many secondary consultations have told me that the benefits are questionable; while, the side effects can result in the need for speech therapy and physical therapy (swollowing). Please let me know what you think. I value the experiences and opinions of others.
Sincerely,
MG

Last edited by mkgbrook; 08-09-2006 at 11:45 AM.

 
Old 08-09-2006, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

[QUOTE=mkgbrook]I respectfully request any and all advice and stories from others that have had a partial soft pallet and uvula removal to help with sleep apnea. I am due to have sinus surgery to open windows in all of my sinus cavaties, my tonsils and adnoids removed, and a UPPP (partial soft pallet and uvula removal) on September 5, 2006. I am sure about the need and benifits of the sinus windows and T&A removal; but, I am hesitant about the UPPP. All references and many secondary consultations have told me that the benefits are questionable; while, the side effects can result in the need for speech therapy and physical therapy (swollowing). Please let me know what you think. I value the experiences and opinions of others.
Sincerely,
MG

Last edited by mkgbrook; 08-09-2006 at 11:46 AM.

 
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

For anyone else considering the UPPP procedure I will share what I found out from my doctors. There are three factors that make you a good candidate oxygen levels in your blood, your vital statistics (BP, HR, etc), and your weight. The two sources I talked to recommend not to have a UPPP unless you are within 10% of your ideal body weight. Otherwise there is only a 30-50% chance of improving your sleep apnea. I have therefore cancelled my UPPP, and am waiting impatiently for my T&A, and sinus window insertion. Thank-you to all who looked at my post.
Sincerely,
MG

 
Old 08-15-2006, 10:27 PM   #4
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

Has your Dr. ever suggested a CPAP mask?
My husband was diagnosed 8 years ago with Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and was told that surgeries may or may not help him, but the CPAP would be a complete relief for him nightly.

He argued and complained and fought tooth and nail about having to wear the CPAP...for about a week. Then, he started to shut up more and more about it...then about two weeks after he began wearing the CPAP nightly, he said to me with tears, "Is this what it feels like to be normal?"
He had never in his entire life had quality sleep. He couldn't even believe the difference; he never knew what it felt like to feel truly well rested. The quality of his life improved ten fold....well, more like 1000 fold!
He's 40 now, and his Dr. is convinced that without treating his apnea, my husband would've been dead by age 45 from stroke or heart attack because of the apnea, that's how severe his is.

 
Old 08-16-2006, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

Yes. I have severe sleep apnea, that we are attempting to control with a CPAP machine. Using the CPAP has helped reduce my episodes from 60 in an hour to 2 in an hour. However, whenever I have a sinus infection... which has been 7-9 months out of the year, I have difficulty sleeping with or without the mask. I am hoping that the T&A, and sinus window insertion will help my sleep apnea by allowing the CPAP to do its job properly and prevent chronic sinusitus.
Thank you for the suggestion, I recommend all try the CPAP before surgery. I am perfectly happy to use my CPAP for the ret of my life. My husband also sleeps on a CPAP, we adjusted much quicker than our 3 yr old son.... who would come and wake us up by covering the mask air holes and saying take those bad things off. Now my son helps us by telling us it is bedtime and we must sleep on our machines. It was amazing to wake up after sleeping through the night, you have energy and can be a much nicer person. I used to wake up at least once an hour... now I don't wake up until my son jumps on me in the morning.
Sincerely, MG

 
Old 06-16-2007, 04:48 PM   #6
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

Does anybody know if the partial removal of the soft pallet has any effect on taste?

 
Old 09-16-2007, 07:49 PM   #7
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

The benefits out way the risk. I had my tonsils and partial uvula removed as well as my deviated septum on August 29th 07. I had severe sleep apnea. Immediately, I noticed an improvement. I'm actually dreaming again, I'm getting REM sleep finally. I still have a sleep disorder that prevents me to get to sleep so I still have to rely on pills. But, once I'm asleep, I'm getting the restful sleep that I need. I would definitely recommend it. No, I did not have problems with my speech and swallowing. Of course, the first few weeks are difficult. I would def. go through it again knowing the benefits. I was using a cpap, but that failed as I kept taking it off during the night, possibly due to claustrophobia or possibly discomfort and I did go through several masks and a reduction in the pressure but no relief. If works for some but not all. I prefer the surgery more than anything. I had my doubts but, most seriously am happy that I had it done. My suggestion, is to get it done. Surgeons usually do the deviated septum on a different day, but I wanted both done at the same time. If this is your route, which I suggest. You have to be careful. As you can't do any sneezing. That's why they do the surgeries separate as if you have the deviated septum repaired and not the tonsils and uppp removal you can sneeze through your mouth, but having both done at the same time, you can't sneeze through your mouth or nose, be careful. Any questions please ask.

 
Old 09-17-2007, 05:28 AM   #8
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

Thanks for the reply.

I had the T&A and full endoscopic surgery done. I understand about the sneezing part COMPLETELY.

My insurance said that the UPPP was not proven to be medically necessary and thus only covered the T&A and sinus roto rooter. After said surgery, my sleep apnea improved from severe to mild. I still use my CPAP at the same pressure and am satisfied. If I had been allowed to do the UPPP I am unsure if I would have went for it, but others took it our of my hands. I do wonder if the UPPP was allowed and done if my sleep apnea would be gone completely.

Thanks for your imput, hopefully others in the same situation will use it when waying their options.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:47 PM   #9
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

I understand the insurance part of it. I guess it depends on what kind of insurance you have. If it's medically necessary it can be approved. I work for a hospital, so I have relatively great insurance. I didn't have to pay anything which is good. Of course I had to get my surgery approved and because I chose a very good surgeon that also wayed in as well. The recovery from the surgery is not easy but it is well worth it. Before the surgery, I was able to purposly make myself snore. Now I can't even make myself snore. It's a relief. I'm hoping this information will become useful in the future.

 
Old 12-16-2007, 10:10 PM   #10
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Unhappy Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

I don't think I had a severe case of sleep apnea. I would guess that only about four times a month I would wake being unable to breath (usually out of a dream in which I was struggling to breath). I went to a reputable doctor because I wanted my deviated septum to be fixed so I could get some AIR, darn it, and I was tired of fighting my allergies and my nose. I also had chronic tonsillitis complete with those disgusting tonsilloliths flying out of my mouth every time I sneezed. The doctor asked about snoring and I said I do, and I said I occasionally have what I believe is sleep apnea. He told me that my insurance covers the tonsillectomy and the deviated septum but that they would not cover the trimming of the palate for sleep apnea, unless I underwent a sleep apnea test somewhere. He said I might as well just do it since he would be operating right in that area anyway. This made sense to me. I asked him the risks and he listed the risk of general anasthesia, and that I might get alot of nose bleeds at first, etc. What he did NOT tell me is that the trimming of the soft palate that he was talking about meant cutting out my uvula and the tissue it hangs from. For some stupid reason, I thought he was talking about something up behind my soft palate - the back side of it or something! My husband wanted me to wait and see if the nose and tonsillectomy did the trick or not. The doctor said that they are unrelated, so I went ahead and consented. I REGRET THIS SURGERY WITH ALL MY HEART. I didn't realize he meant chopping off the back of my mouth! Eating is now very hard, it's difficult not to choke when I eat, because I inhale the bits of food accidentally. Everything burns the back of my throat...I feel so traumatized and it's my own stupid fault!! Why didn't I ask to see some pictures of what he was talking about? When I swallow, the food goes down a little bit and then just stays there.
It's been two weeks since my surgery. Also I play the saxophone and hope to God this doesn't ruin that for me too.
Will it get any better??

-heartbroken

 
Old 12-17-2007, 09:46 AM   #11
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Re: Is partial soft pallet and uvula removal worth it?

MG,

I had the UPPP rejected by Blue Cross because my sleep apnea was not "severe" enough, whatever that means. I did have my tonsils removed along with the repair of my septum and turbinate reduction in January 2006.

The reason for my response is that I finished my 3 outpatient snoreplasty procedures about 2 months ago. These injections do much of the same thing that the UPPP does; it shrinks the soft palate and uvula instead of complete removal. The good thing is that I can have the UPPP performed later if necessary.

The snoreplasty procedure has only been around since 2000. The doctors cannot claim that it cures sleep apnea, I am assuming that there is not enough clinical data but it does open the airway up. It is around 80% effective for the snoring. I do realize that apnea and snoring can be mutually exclusive but half of all people that snore do have sleep apnea.

Hopefully this will help the discussion and give folks an alternative to consider.

 
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