The aims of this study were 1) to evaluate the effect of isolated uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) on subjective obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms in adult patients regardless of the response to surgery, and ultimately 2) to investigate the differences in changes in subjective OSA symptoms between successful and unsuccessful surgery groups.
Twenty consecutive adult patients who underwent isolated UPPP were enrolled. Pre- and postoperative subjective OSA symptoms (snoring, witnessed apnea, daytime sleepiness, morning headache, daytime fatigue, restless sleep, difficulty with morning arousal) and polysomnographic data were evaluated in all subjects. Changes in subjective OSA symptoms before and after surgery were investigated in the successful (n=11) and unsuccessful (n=9) groups. Surgical success was defined as a reduction of at least 50% in the preoperative apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and a postoperative AHI less than 20 per hour.
After isolated UPPP, all subjective OSA symptoms changed significantly in the patients, especially in the successful group. In the unsuccessful group, snoring, witnessed apnea and daytime fatigue changed significantly, while other symptoms did not change significantly after surgery.
Isolated UPPP may improve subjective OSA symptoms in adult patients whom surgery was successful or unsuccessful. However, after isolated UPPP, the improvements in subjective OSA symptoms in the unsuccessful group may be different from those in the successful group.