Sleep Apnea Home > Sleep Apnea Surgery

Specific types of surgery for sleep apnea include removal of tonsils and adenoids; removal of the tonsils, uvula, and part of the soft palate (called uvulopalatoplasty); laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, and the insertion of a small tube into the windpipe (called tracheostomy). Other possible types of surgery include procedures to rebuild the lower jaw, surgery of the nose, and surgery to treat obesity.

An Overview of Surgeries for Sleep Apnea

Some people with sleep apnea may require surgery to treat their condition. The type of surgery recommended will depend on the sleep apnea cause.
Common types of surgery for sleep apnea include:
  • Removal of tonsils and adenoids
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
  • Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty
  • Tracheostomy.
Tonsil and Adenoid Removal
One form of surgery for treating sleep apnea is the removal of the tonsils and adenoids if they are blocking the airway. This surgery is especially helpful for children.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgery that removes the tonsils, uvula (the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of the roof of the mouth), and part of your soft palate (the roof of your mouth in the back of your throat). This surgery is only effective for some people with sleep apnea.
Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a surgery that can stop snoring, but is probably not helpful in treating sleep apnea. A laser device is used to remove the uvula and part of the soft palate. Because the main symptom of sleep apnea -- snoring -- is stopped, it is important to have a sleep study before having this surgery.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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