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Sleep Surgeon Question 49

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Question 49 - What it Z Palatoplasty ?

From: Silvergirl

Hello Dr. L:

Thank you for responding. If I could afford too I would go to you for my surgeries.

This is my question. What is a Z Palatopalsty? Is this the same as a UPPP? Is the pain level and the recovery time the same as an UPPP?

Thank you.


Response Provided by Dr. Kasey Li
Dec. 24, 2008

Soft palate surgery for the treatment of sleep apnea has numerous versions. The objective is to try to stiffen the floppy soft palate and reduce the length in order to open up the airway.

Z-plasty is just a way to shorten the soft palate by making cuts on the soft palate and the cut pieces are "transposed". In general, the pain level of the soft palate surgery is greatly dependent upon whether tonsillectomy is done at the same time as it is the most painful part.

If you are having tonsillectomy, the pain is going to be the same regardless of UPPP or Z-palatoplasty. The cutting instrument also contributes to varying degrees of pain. The use of electrocautery or laser hurt more than scalpel due to the high heat generated.

The complication associated with Z-palatoplasty is the same as UPPP.

Kasey Li, MD

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