Sleep Apnea: Uvulopalatoplasty

Skip to the navigation

Sleep Apnea: UvulopalatoplastySkip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a technique that uses lasers to perform surgery for some sleep-related breathing disorders. It may be used if you have:

  • Loud, habitual snoring. But your snoring may return after the surgery.
  • Upper airway resistance syndrome, in which nighttime breathing is obstructed but does not actually stop. Symptoms include feeling sleepy during the day, snoring a lot, and waking up frequently during the night.
  • Mild obstructive sleep apnea, which is stopped or slowed breathing during sleep.

There is debate about whether the laser procedure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). LAUP has not shown any major benefit for people who have sleep apnea.footnote 1 And problems swallowing and voice changes are common side effects from LAUP.

LAUP is not recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to treat sleep apnea.footnote 2

Sleep Apnea: UvulopalatoplastySkip to the navigation

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems.

Sleep Apnea: UvulopalatoplastySkip to the navigation



  1. Franklin KA, et al. (2009). Effects and side-effects of surgery for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea: A systematic review. Sleep, 32(1): 27–36.
  2. Aurora RN, et al. (2010). Practice parameters for the surgical modifications of the upper airway for obstructive sleep apnea in adults. Sleep, 33(10): 1408–1413.

Sleep Apnea: UvulopalatoplastySkip to the navigation


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Mark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014