The uvulopalatal flap

Tom C. Zhou, Jennifer C Hsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The uvulopalatal flap was initially described by Powell and Riley in 1996 and has become a popular surgical option for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A number of advantages exist over the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, and these include reduced risk of velopharyngeal insufficiency and nasopharyngeal stenosis, potential to be reversible, improved velopalatal opening from preserved uvular muscle, low risk of bleeding, and reduced pain. An extensive preoperative workup should be performed to evaluate the patient, and the procedure is indicated in patients who demonstrate velopharyngeal obstruction, and who are refractory to conservative medical management. Studies have confirmed that the uvulopalatal flap results in both objective and subjective improvements in OSA. Complications are rare and typically minor. As a result, the uvulopalatal flap has become a popular option and the palatal procedure of choice for OSA for many otolaryngologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalOperative Techniques in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep disordered breathing
  • Snoring
  • Uvulopalatal flap
  • Uvulopharyngoplasty


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