LAUP: Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty

Based on a leading medical journal (CHEST). The information here is not current--may not be wrong but much has been published since this article was written.

The LAUP (Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty) procedure is an out-patient surgical procedure under local anesthesia involving several sessions spaced several weeks apart. Treatments reduce and reshape the uvula and posterior soft palate in order to enlarge the oropharyngeal airway by trimming and reshaping the uvula and posterior soft palate. Less tissue is removed than by the UPPP surgery.

People who snore may have sleep disordered breathing including sleep apnea and other medical problems. These issues should be addressed before surgery and there should be evaluation of sleep quality by a trained sleep specialist both before and after surgical treatment. LAUP has not yet been demonstrated to be effective and has been used by people who are not trained in sleep disorders or ENT. Failure to identify and treat sleep apnea can have serious consequences.

Recently, the American Sleep Disorders Association has concluded that, because current data does not demonstrate the efficacy of LAUP in sleep-related breathing disorders, it not be recommended for treatment of these disorders.

Surgical treatment of snoring without proper evaluation of sleep disordered breathing could remove the warning sound that might alert to the existence of serious sleep apnea.

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