Tongue-base suspension in conjunction with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for treatment of severe obstructive sleep apnea: long-term follow-up results

Laryngoscope. 2006 Jul;116(7):1223-7. doi: 10.1097/01.mlg.0000224498.09015.d9.


Objectives/hypothesis: To evaluate the usefulness of tongue-base suspension (TBS) in addition to uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).

Study design: Long-term prospective case series.

Setting: University tertiary care medical center.

Methods: Fifty-five consecutive patients with severe OSAS (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] 52.8+/-14.9 events/hr) with multilevel upper airway obstruction who refused treatment with continuous positive airway pressure underwent UPPP plus TBS with the Repose system. All patients were evaluated before surgery by clinical history, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy with Müller maneuver, and nocturnal polysomnography (PSG). After 3 years of surgery, all patients were re-evaluated at the clinic and had ESS test and full PSG. Surgical success was defined when the ESS dropped bellow 11, and the AHI decreased below the threshold of 20 events per hour of sleep and at least 50% from the preoperative value

Results: There were 42 (78%) patients in which the AHI score decreased more than 50%, the AHI was lower than 20 events/hr in the PSG, and the ESS was lower than 11 after 3-years of follow-up (surgical success index). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that body mass index at baseline was the only variable with significant statistical power to predict surgical success (odds ratio 0.85; 0.73-0.95, 95% confidence interval, P<.01)

Conclusion: When associated with UPPP, the TBS technique performed with the Repose system demonstrates a surgical success of up to 78% for patients with severe OSA who refused nasal continuous positive airway pressure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Pharynx / surgery*
  • Polysomnography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Tongue / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uvula / surgery*