J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg.  2011 Feb;37(1):81-85. 10.5125/jkaoms.2011.37.1.81.

The treatment of obstructive sleep apnea patient using extended uvulopalatal flap: a case report

  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. jinychoi@snu.ac.kr


The uvulopalatal flap (UPF) technique is a modification of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) for the surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. In the UPF technique, an uvulopalatal flap is fabricated and sutured to the residual mucosa of the soft palate to expand the antero-posterior dimensions of the oropharyngeal inlet. In the extended uvulopalatal flap (EUPF) technique, an incision at the tonsillar fossa is added to the classical UPF technique followed by the removal of mucosa and submucosal adipose tissue for additional expansion of the lateral dimension. The EUPF technique is more conservative and reversible than UPPP. Therefore, complications, such as velopharyngeal insufficiency, dysphagia, dryness, nasopharyngeal stenosis and postoperative pain, are reduced. In the following case report, the patient was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and treated with the EUPF technique. The patient's total respiratory disturbance events per hour (RDI) was decreased to 15.4, the O2 saturation during the sleep was increased, and the excessive daytime sleepiness had disappeared after the surgery without complications. The authors report this case with a review of the relevant literature.


Extended uvulopalatal flap; Obstructive sleep apnea; Uvula; Treatment outcome; Surgical flaps

MeSH Terms

Adipose Tissue
Constriction, Pathologic
Deglutition Disorders
Mucous Membrane
Pain, Postoperative
Palate, Soft
Sleep Apnea, Obstructive
Surgical Flaps
Treatment Outcome
Velopharyngeal Insufficiency
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