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Clinical Challenges in Otolaryngology
June 1998

Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty in Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124(6):718-721. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.6.718

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.

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