Author(s): Weaver EM
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) improves sleep apnea-related quality of life (measured on the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire [FOSQ]) at 3-month follow-up. Secondary objectives were to test (1) the stability of the outcomes at 6 months, (2) the effect on global sleep apnea quality-of-life change, and (3) the effect on sleep apnea symptoms.
STUDY DESIGN: Multicenter, prospective, longitudinal case series.
SETTING: Diverse university- and community-based otolaryngology practices.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The cohort included 68 patients from 17 practices, with a mean ± standard deviation age of 44 ± 12 years and mean apnea-hypopnea index of 35 ± 32 events/hour. All patients underwent UPPP, defined as an open procedure modifying the shape and size of the palate, pharynx, and uvula, with or without tonsillectomy. Baseline data were collected on site before surgery, and outcome data were collected by mail 3 and 6 months after surgery, with follow-up rates of 51% and 50%, respectively.
RESULTS: FOSQ scores improved from 14.3 ± 3.4 (scale 5-20, normal ≥17.9) at baseline to 17.2 ± 2.7 at 3 months (mean improvement 2.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-4.0; P < .001) and 17.5 ± 2.5 at 6 months (mean improvement 3.1; 95% confidence interval, 2.0-4.2; P < .001). All quality-of-life and symptom measures improved significantly at 3 and 6 months (all P < .05).
CONCLUSION: This prospective, multicenter, university- and community-based study provides evidence that UPPP significantly improves disease-specific quality of life and sleep apnea symptoms in patients with sleep apnea. Validity may be limited by significant loss to follow-up and absence of an unoperated control group.