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This paper aimed to: retrospectively analyse single-centre results in terms of surgical success, respiratory outcomes and adverse events after short-term follow up in obstructive sleep apnoea patients treated with upper airway stimulation; and evaluate the correlation between pre-operative drug-induced sleep endoscopy findings and surgical success.
A retrospective descriptive cohort study was conducted, including a consecutive series of obstructive sleep apnoea patients undergoing implantation of an upper airway stimulation system.
Forty-four patients were included. The total median Apnoea–Hypopnea Index and oxygen desaturation index significantly decreased from 37.6 to 8.3 events per hour (p < 0.001) and from 37.1 to 15.9 events per hour (p < 0.001), respectively. The surgical success rate was 88.6 per cent, and did not significantly differ between patients with or without complete collapse at the retropalatal level (p = 0.784). The most common therapy-related adverse event reported was (temporary) stimulation-related discomfort.
Upper airway stimulation is an effective and safe treatment in obstructive sleep apnoea patients with continuous positive airway pressure intolerance or failure. There was no significant difference in surgical outcome between patients with tongue base collapse with or without complete anteroposterior collapse at the level of the palate.
In the West, removal of the uvula is predominantly undertaken as part of palatal surgery, in cases of obstructive sleep apnoea. In the developing world, such as the Middle East and Africa, uvulectomy is a more common practice. The uvula is removed for curative or preventive purposes, or as part of ritual practice. Due to immigration from developing to developed world countries, and to Western doctors working abroad, such doctors are increasingly being confronted with unfamiliar traditional healing practices, within a medical context.
The Medline and Embase online databases were systematically searched for literature on traditional uvulectomy. We present a review of this literature. We also present the first report, to our best knowledge, of obstructive sleep apnoea as a late complication of traditional uvulectomy.
Traditional uvulectomy may be complicated by post-operative haemorrhage and local infections, among many other problems. We report cases of obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring caused by palatal stenosis resulting from traditional uvulectomy during childhood.
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