KAREN H.CALHOUNMDRONALD B.KUPPERSMITHMD
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty may be an appropriate procedure for patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
The application of laser technology to surgery of the upper airway for sleep-related breathing disorders (laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty [LAUP]) has sparked a flurry of interest in ameliorating both the socially vexing problem of snoring as well as the potentially life-threatening physiologic consequences of the OSA syndrome. The revolution in the management of sleep disorders has been fueled by media attention as well as consumer interest. This has created a concern by some that the intense enthusiasm for surgically treating patients with sleep-related breathing disorders has led to premature application of unproven technology. Since the fervor over LAUP has subsided to a degree, and since several peer-reviewed publications are available for analysis, it is appropriate to reassess this procedure and, in particular, to determine if its use for mild OSA is safe and efficacious.
Terris DJ, Wang MZ. Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty in Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124(6):718-721. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.6.718