Treatment of primary snoring using radiofrequency-assisted uvulopalatoplasty

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2007 Jul;264(7):761-7. doi: 10.1007/s00405-007-0252-x. Epub 2007 Feb 9.


Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) reduces the need for general anesthesia, bleeding and the operation time compared with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), but the postoperative pain is more severe due to the thermal damage to tissues, and the procedure often causes serious scar contracture of the soft palate, with foreign body sensation also occurring occasionally. Radiofrequency-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (RAUP) uses the same surgical method as LAUP, but employs RF instead of laser. RF surgery induces temperatures of 70-85 degrees C, and causes less damage to the surrounding tissues. Thus, on the assumption that it may reduce problems in LAUP, we applied LAUP and RAUP at random to patients with primary snoring, and compared the results of the two types of operation and both their advantages and disadvantages. Forty-four patients with primary snoring but without apnea were prospectively evaluated with a follow-up period of 6 months: 20 patients received LAUP and 24 patients received RAUP. Postoperative changes in the subjective degree of snoring, the Epworth sleepiness scale score, and the operation time, postoperative pain, episodes of delayed bleeding, globus sensation and scar contracture were compared between the two surgical methods. Snoring symptoms, ESS scores and episodes of delayed bleeding did not differ significantly between the two groups. The operation time was shorter in the LAUP group, and the postoperative pain and postoperative complications (globus sensation and scar contracture) were less in the RAUP group. RAUP results in significantly lower postoperative pain, complications and other problems experienced in LAUP, while maintaining the advantages of LAUP.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods
  • Male
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Snoring / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uvula / surgery*