Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in neurologically impaired pediatric patients

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1995 Jul;32(3):241-6. doi: 10.1016/0165-5876(95)01178-e.


Bona fide obstructive sleep apnea is rare in the pediatric age group. Traditional surgical management for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is adenotonsillectomy alone, however, severely affected children may require uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or tracheostomy to relieve their obstruction. Children with OSA along with other medical maladies (e.g. cerebral palsy, down syndrome) pose an additional challenge to the otolaryngologist due to poor muscular tone and other medical problems which may complicate postoperative management. We report on 15 children (aged 23 months-13 years, mean 7.4 years), 12 with severe mental insufficiency, with documented OSA who underwent classical or modified UPPP. Twelve of 15 had clinical and/or objective improvement. We conclude that UPPP has a role in the management of neurologically-impaired children with OSA.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Adolescent
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / complications*
  • Male
  • Palate, Soft / surgery*
  • Pharynx / surgery*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / etiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / surgery*
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Uvula / surgery*