Long-term outcomes of laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty in 168 patients with snoring

J Laryngol Otol. 2006 Nov;120(11):932-8. doi: 10.1017/S002221510600209X. Epub 2006 Jul 3.


Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is an established treatment for snoring. Our institution has been using a modification of the Kamami technique since 1995. Between January 1995 and December 2001, 469 patients underwent LAUP for snoring. A telephone survey of these patients and their partners was conducted retrospectively. One hundred and sixty-eight patients and their partners were interviewed and the findings analysed.Of the 168 patients, 122 had LAUP alone, 42 had LAUP and tonsillectomy and four had LAUP and septoplasty. The median follow-up time was 59 months (range 19 to 98 months).Seventy-four per cent reported improvement at six weeks, 69 per cent reported improvement at nine months and 55 per cent reported improvement at the time of interview. To assess the degree of improvement, patients and their partners were asked to grade any improvement in percentage terms. The mean subjective improvement scores were 57 per cent at six weeks (95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 50-64 per cent), 45 per cent at nine months (95 per cent CI 38-59 per cent) and 30 per cent at the time of interview (95 per cent CI 23-35 per cent). Patients who reported weight gain since surgery did not have a poorer outcome than those who reported no weight change or weight loss. Neither did weight loss predict a better outcome. The procedure was generally well tolerated, with only 30 patients (18 per cent) reporting complications (mainly minor). The benefits of LAUP wane with time and the results are best in the first 12 months following surgery. Our study suggests that 55 per cent of patients selected after sleep studies and sleep nasendoscopy will enjoy long-term benefit.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Light
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Palate, Soft / surgery*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Snoring / surgery*
  • Uvula / surgery
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss