Palatopharyngoplasty Resolves Concentric Collapse in Patients Ineligible for Upper Airway Stimulation

Stanley Yung Chuan Liu, Michael J. Hutz*, Sasikarn Poomkonsarn, Corissa P. Chang, Michael Awad, Robson Capasso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if a modified tissue-preserving palatopharyngoplasty could convert retropalatal concentric collapse to anteroposterior or lateral patterns of collapse on drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) in patients who are not candidates for upper airway stimulation due to complete circumferential collapse at the velum. Methods: A prospective, nonconsecutive, single-blinded cohort study was performed by two sleep surgeons at a tertiary care center from 2015 to 2018. Inclusion criteria included adults > 18 years of age with a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea with an Apnea–Hypopnea Index (AHI) > 15, a body mass index (BMI) < 32, and < 25% central apneas on polysomnography. Twelve patients with complete circumferential collapse underwent a modified palatopharyngoplasty. Postoperatively, a repeat sleep study was performed. A repeat DISE was recommended for those with incomplete surgical response (clinically and/or AHI). Results: Twelve patients with complete circumferential collapse were eligible for the study. Mean BMI was 30.5. Mean preoperative AHI was 54.0 events per hour. Following a modified palatopharyngoplasty, the mean AHI was reduced to 33.1 events per hour, and 100% (12 of 12) of the patients converted from a pattern of complete circumferential collapse to either no collapse at the level of the velum (3) or an anteroposterior pattern of collapse (9). Conclusion: We demonstrate that a modified palatopharyngoplasty can successfully convert collapse patterns in patients with complete circumferential collapse. Further studies are required to determine the outcome of these patients following upper airway stimulation implantation. Level of Evidence: 1B Laryngoscope, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E958-E962
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Upper airway stimulation
  • complete concentric collapse
  • drug-induced sleep endoscopy
  • hypoglossal nerve stimulation
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • sleep surgery
  • uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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