Comparison of postoperative pain between laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, and radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction of the palate

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Mar;122(3):402-9. doi: 10.1016/S0194-5998(00)70056-8.


Objectives: This study compares the posttreatment discomfort between laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), and radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction (RFVTR) of the palate through the use of visual analog pain scales and a quantitative assessment of the analgesic medication taken.

Methods: In one group, LAUP (n = 10) or UPPP (n = 9) was used to treat patients' snoring or sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), and the other group underwent RFVTR (n = 22).

Results: The mean numbers of days with pain after RFVTR, LAUP, and UPPP were 2.6, 13.8, and 14.3 days, respectively. Narcotic analgesics were required in the RFVTR, LAUP, and UPPP groups in 9%, 100%, and 100% of the subjects, respectively. The mean number of these days requiring narcotic pain medications for RFVTR, LAUP, and UPPP was 0.2, 11.8, and 12.4 days, whereas the total narcotic equivalent was 0.3, 7.4 and 29.6 days, respectively.

Conclusion: RFVTR of the soft palate produced less posttreatment pain than LAUP or UPPP. LAUP and UPPP appeared to show little difference in the severity or duration of posttreatment discomfort.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Electrocoagulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology*
  • Pharynx / surgery*
  • Polysomnography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / etiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Uvula / surgery*


  • Analgesics, Opioid