Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty


As most of you know, I’ve made my career working in healthcare. Spending 8 hours a day in a hospital seems normal to me. I’ve always had a morbid fascination with the internal processes of the body, especially surgical procedures. So what do I do on my day off? Research surgeries! I know, I’m insane.

I’ve only had surgery once, but I’ve had a long history of less invasive procedures. I had my sleep study last week, and I meet with my sleep specialist on Thursday to discuss the best treatment options for my sleep-disordered breathing. At my initial visit with him, he had listed a variety of surgical options that may be of value to my health (including Lap Band for weight loss, as my sleep issues will not subside until I lose at least 80 pounds).

This morning I’ve been researching UPPP – Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. It’s a procedure where my tonsils, uvula and part of my soft palate would be removed to remedy my very constricted airway. I have been wavering for a few years whether I would get a tonsillectomy because I have large tonsils and frequently get tonsillitis, but I know the recovery time and pain level is horrible as an adult. But since my breathing has been so labored since October, and my snoring (caused by a constricted air passageway) is out of control…it really may be time for surgery.

As I read about it on Wiki, I was freaked out by the following side effect:
Patients who have had the uvula removed will become unable to correctly speak French or any other language that has a uvular ‘r’ phoneme.

If I get the UPPP, I might have to give up on Le Français and take up Español.

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