My UPPP Recovery

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty - UPPP

About 6 months ago, I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea. It all came about as I was telling my doctor of how no matter what I did, I was unable to lose any weight. I already had my thyroid checked and everything was normal with that. He started asking me about my energy levels and my sleeping habits. I had all the symptoms of apnea and my wifes complaints about my snoring and struggling to breath were all the more confirming. Then he took a look at my throat and said that my airway was definitely more narrow than it should be.

He said that my inability to lose weight was probably due the build up of hormones produced by the amount of stress my body was going through fighting to stay alive and breathe. It made sense to me with all things being considered.

3 months on CPAP and I wasn’t enjoying the benefits. My nose always felt congested and I started doing nasal rinses for relief. Some days it worked but most of the time it didn’t. I was usually only able to breathe out of my left side. I also started opening my mouth in my sleep so I had to start wearing a very uncomfortable chin strap.

The CPAP was not worth the trouble but I did not want to give up so I decided to see an ENT. Dr. Prasad at Kelsey Seybold in Sugar Land discovered that I had a big polyp blocking my right nostril and a left deviated symptom that was partially blocking my left nostril. He also confirmed my airway was too narrow. He gave me some steroid pills and nasal spray and I was scheduled to come back in 6 weeks.

Both forms of steroids really helped to clear up all the mucous and I was finally able to breathe out of my nose and sleep better. The Dr. said I responded very well to the treatment but laid out all of my options. I wanted to be cured from my sleep apnea and the only solution was surgery.

He said I could easily get the polyp removed and the deviated septum fixed and that would allow the CPAP to work properly. I also had a 50%-70% chance that UPPP would cure me completely but he explained that recovery was not an easy process. He left it up to me to decide, but I figured it was between no surgery and CPAP the rest of my life, failed surgery with CPAP for the rest of my life, or successful surgery and no CPAP. I was more interested in the cure than the treatment, and with a 50%-70% chance of being cured the decision was easy.

UPPP involves removing the extra tissue in the throat along with the uvulva, the punching bag looking thing that hangs in the back of the throat. It can also involve removing the tonsils, pharynx, and adenoids if those are contributing to the obstruction. Recovery is about 2 weeks, pain meds, and liquid/ soft food diet.

My procedure is scheduled for Tuesday morning. I’ve never been operated on so I am a bit nervous, but by faith I am moving forward expecting the best.

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