Excessive daytime sleepiness and loud snoring are the major symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, often leading to serious medical complications if unrecognized and untreated. Tracheostomy has been the only effective treatment in most adult cases. This paper reports on a new surgical approach to treat obstructive sleep apnea by uvulopalatopharyngoplasty designed to enlarge the potential airspace in the oropharynx. Twelve patients underwent this operation. In nine there was relief of symptoms and in eight there was objective improvement in nocturnal respiration and sleep pattern, demonstrated by polysomnography.