What is Lateral Pharyngoplasty?

couple sleeping - man snoring

If you suffer from sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend Lateral Pharyngoplasty to alleviate your symptoms and help get a restful night’s sleep.

Who makes a good candidate for lateral pharyngoplasty?

You could be a good candidate for lateral pharyngoplasty if you have sleep apnea that’s caused by excess tissue in the side of the throat and the soft palate (the roof of your mouth).

This procedure can be performed if other common forms of sleep apnea treatment, such as the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine haven’t been effective enough. The surgery can produce good results for:

  • Preventing tissue collapse in the side of the throat in sleep apnea
  • Reducing snoring
  • Relieving the symptoms of sleep apnea
  • Permanently enlarging your airway without affecting breathing, speaking, or swallowing

What are warning signs you may need this procedure?

You may have sleep apnea depending on what’s causing your blockage, you could benefit from a lateral pharyngoplasty if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Chronic loud snoring
  • Repeated pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headache
  • Dry or sore throat in the morning
  • Irritability and trouble concentrating

What’s the procedure like?

During the procedure, you’ll be under general anesthesia, and if you haven’t already had your tonsils removed, your doctor will need to do so as part of this procedure.

He or she will also remove and reposition tissue of the soft palate and the side of the throat (lateral pharyngeal tissues). The superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle will be divided and repositioned to make your throat wider and less likely to collapse and block your airway during sleep.

What’s recovery like?

You may take an antibiotic as well as pain medication at home. By 14 days post-surgery, your pain levels should significantly improve.

You may have to stick to a liquid diet for 4 to 5 days post-surgery, but it’s important to keep well hydrated. You may need to also drink a protein shake or nutritional supplement.

You should walk at least 3 times a day in order to help prevent blood clots, but avoid strenuous activity for about four weeks.

What are the benefits?

Lateral pharyngoplasty can reduce snoring as well as sleep apnea and its symptoms. This can improve your sleep, day-to-day quality of life and decrease your chances of developing chronic illnesses associated with sleep apnea, such as heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

How can this surgery improve your sleep?

By removing airway obstructions and enlarging your airway, you’re more likely to experience deep, restorative sleep. This surgery reduces pauses in breathing during sleep as well as snoring, so you’ll sleep better and more restfully.

If you snore or are experiencing other symptoms of sleep apnea, book an appointment today with ENT Centers of Excellence in Foley, Alabama. We offer effective treatments for sleep disorders and snoring that will help you sleep better while improving your health.


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