Practica Oto-Rhino-Laryngologica
Online ISSN : 1884-4545
Print ISSN : 0032-6313
ISSN-L : 0032-6313
Functions of the Uvula and Z Pharyngoplasty
Susumu MUKAIChikako MUKAIMasayoshi NITTA
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2000 Volume 93 Issue 1 Pages 31-38


UPPP includes uvulotomy. Complications after removing the uvula were obstructive feelings in the throat, disorder of the sense of taste and difficulty in disgorging a fish bone while eating fish. Sometimes uvulotomy patients, complaint of burning their throat. Even after sensing that the food and/or soup was not too hot in the oral cavity, it is often too hot for the throat after swallowing. The uvula works as the pilot for eating and swallowing.
We performed an operation which left the uvula intact and opened the pharynx by Z opening the palate.
Twenty four patients were studied before and after ZPP.
No patients complained of symptoms after uvulectomy and no stenosis of the operated pharynx was observed. As for respiration, 79.2% felt an improvement, 20.8% experienced no change and 0% felt worse after the operation. As for sleeping, 75.0% felt well-slept after waking up in the morning, 25.0% experienced no change and 0% felt worse after ZPP. As for snoring, 50.0% reported an improvement, 4.2% experienced no change, 0% felt worse and 45.6% were unsure since could not hear their snoring during sleep.
As for the changes indicated by sleep monitoring, minimum SaO2 significantly increased (p=0.0026), pulse rate decreased significantly (p=0.0144), snore decreased (p=0.064) and the amount of hours slept when SaO2 was over 95% increased (p=0.0690) after ZPP.
ZPP takes less time and causes less bleeding than UPPP. We recommend ZPP for patients with sleep disorders.

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