Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or uvulopalatal flap, is a palate surgery which removes the obstructive sleep apnea. This obstruction produces problems with speaking, breathing and swallowing. General anesthesia is used in this operation.
Just like with any other surgery, some risks are involved with this. After the palate surgery or tonsillectomy, which is commonly performed with palate surgery, some infections may occur. Taking alcohol may produce infection, so watch out for alcohol, which can be found even in mouthwash. In some occasions, a certain tooth injury can be done while operating. This procedure is done also in order to reduce the snoring. In some cases this can help, while in others cannot. There is a possibility of a certain bleeding. Two weeks prior and after the operation, you should not take NSAIDs, like naproxen or ibuprofen, herbal medications, Aspirin or vitamin supplements. Bleeding happens very rarely, but the chances increase when tonsillectomy is done. Bleeding must be treated immediately. Very uncommon side effect from the surgery is the speech change. After the surgery, it is very common for patients to experience food and especially fluids backing up through the nose. This can last for one or two days, but cases in which this condition remains, are very infrequent. This condition is called Regurgitation. Problems with breathing through the nose can occur if narrowing of the throat is done during the surgery. These have been some of the common risks related to palate surgery.
Now, we will focus on the recovery from the surgery. Taking of antibiotics is usual for the first several days. But they need to be eliminated if rash or diarrhea occurs. Four or five days after the surgery, patients will go on a diet. The diet consists of plenty of fluid (not only water, but juices and milk shakes also). Next, soft solid food will be introduced, and in 14 days, you will return to normal nutrition. Remember to avoid any food with sharp edges. Pain control is important. You can use painkillers, but avoid naproxen and ibuprofen. The pain will decrease after 14 days, but it will be acute until then. After the surgery, since the jaw is connected to the tonsils and the soft palate, ear and jaw pain is common. This generally goes away after two weeks. Swelling is the culprit for this pain. Active post-operative period is advised. Patients have to walk at least three times a day, but should restrain from more demanding activities. In the ending three days of the recovery, patients should sleep with their head elevated by 45 degrees. In this way, the swelling and breathing problems will be reduced.