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The safety of outpatient UPPP for obstructive sleep apnea: A retrospective review of 40 cases

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August 1, 2008
by Ali M. Strocker, MD, Alen N. Cohen, MD, and Marilene B. Wang, MD


We retrospectively reviewed the outcomes of 40 patients who had undergone outpatient uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) for the treatment of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in order to determine the safety of the procedure in an outpatient setting. Postoperatively, 36 of the 40 patients (90%) were discharged home the day of surgery without morbidity; 3 other patients stayed overnight for nonmedical reasons, and 1 patient who was already an inpatient remained hospitalized for unrelated medical issues. No postoperative complications occurred, and all patients reported a resolution of OSA symptoms and improvement in sleep. Based on a combination of our data and those of previous studies, we conclude that patients with significant OSA can safely undergo UPPP as an outpatient procedure. We recommend that guidelines regarding the perioperative care of patients with OSA be adjusted to include consideration of treatment in an outpatient setting.

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