During normal breathing, air passes through the throat on its way to the lungs. The air travels past the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, and tongue. When a person is awake, the muscles in the back of the throat tighten to hold these structures in place preventing them from collapsing and/or vibrating in the airway. During sleep, the uvula and soft palate frequently vibrate causing the distinctive sounds of snoring.
The LAUP procedure is a laser surgical procedure designed to sequentially trim and shorten these structures, thus preventing or reducing snoring.
Risks and Complications
You have the right to be informed that the surgery may involve risks of unsuccessful results, complications, or injury from both known and unforeseen causes. Because individuals vary in their tissue circulation and healing processes, as well as anesthetic reactions, ultimately there can be no guarantee made as to the results or potential complications. The following complications have been reported in the medical literature. This list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible complication. They are listed here for your information only, not to frighten you, but to make you aware and more knowledgeable concerning this surgical procedure.
1. Failure to resolve the snoring. Most surgeons feel that about 85% of patients who undergo a LAUP will have a significant or complete resolution in their snoring; and an additional percentage of patients will notice reduced levels of snoring such that their sleep partners will report that it's level is no longer offensive.
2. Failure to cure sleep apnea or other pathological sleep disorders. Pathological sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, are medical problems which may have associated serious complications. At this time, the LAUP procedure has not been proven to cure these disorders.
3. Bleeding. In very rare situations, a need for blood products or a blood transfusion. You have the right, should you choose, to have autologous or designated donor directed blood pre-arranged. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor if you are interested.
4. Nasal regurgitation, a change in voice, or velopharyngeal insufficiency when liquids may flow into the nasal cavity during swallowing (rare).
5. Failure to resolve coexisting sinus, tonsil, or nasal problems.
6. Need for revision, or further and more aggressive surgery.
7. Prolonged pain, impaired healing, and the need for hospitalization