Laser Surgery for Snoring and Sleep Apnea-Complications
Dr.K.O.Paulose FRCS DLO, Consultant ENT Surgeon, Jubilee Hospital, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.
Is it Painful?
Nasal surgery is not at all painful but uncomfortable. The main difficulty is blockage of the nasal airway for the first week after surgery and the dry mouth that results from this. Most discomfort is readily handled by simple pain medications such as Paracetamol (Panadol).
Surgery of the palate and tonsils is painful dependent on the procedure and on the patient\’s individual pain thresholds or ability to withstand discomfort. The pain and discomfort may last up to a week but rarely longer. The operation itself is usually pain free following the establishment of local or general anesthetic.
There may be some discomfort that evening. The pain experience may be more significant three to four days after the procedure itself. The painful period usually ends by seven to ten days after the procedure
Coblator surgery of the throat is less painful, but discomfort able for up to two or three days after the procedure, but the patient can usually return to work the following day.
Pain control with medications like narcotic analgesics will be required. Discomfort can be experienced on swallowing worse in the morning.
But at the end: “No gain without Pain” or live a life on CPAP for ever.
Can Laser surgery for snoring (LAUP) change the voice?
Removing the uvula and hanging soft palate won\’t have any adverse effect on your voice quality. In fact it will make the voice clearer. People who has big tonsils and large uvula has got a muffled-potato voice. By removing the blockage it makes one\’s voice better.
I have performed LAUP in a renowned singer, and his singing career got better after wardsâ€¦Thanks to LAUP.
The guttural fricative sounds which are affected is only those who speak Hebrew, and sub-Saharan laguagesÂ (e.g. Word like L\’c\’haim) but not any Indian language or English.
Nasal Regurgitation after Laser Surgery?
Very rarely one getsÂ temporary nasal regurgitation, which is a positive sign that sleep apnea is cured, andÂ rarely some patients get dryness of throat. In my experience doing laser for last 9 years, none had any serious side effects including permanent nasal regurgitation.
Dryness of Throat
The symptoms of dry throat and bolus pharyngeus were much more common than we had anticipated and these side effects have received little attention in previous reports on UPPP. We now warn all our patients undergoing surgery for snoring of this potential problem.