UPPP Recovery Days 1 through 4

Thursday, July 29, 2010 I was wheeled into the operating room for a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.

Commonly referred to as UPPP, the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty procedure is done by a qualified surgeon who carefully inserts a ripe pine cone coated with aluminum oxide (the stuff that makes the “sand” in sand paper) into your throat, gives it a good twist or two, then leaves it there to slowly dissolve over the next two or three weeks.

That’s what it feels like, anyway.

Actually the procedure involves removing the uvula (that little thing hanging down at the back of your throat and cutting out some flesh to make your airway larger. This helps relieve obstructive sleep apnea in most cases.

My last happy moments were when the anaesthesiologist shot a cocktail of drugs into my IV just before they rolled me into the OR. Everything went blurry and in what seemed to be the very next instant (it was actually a 50 minute surgery) I was being awakened by a nurse who asked me what my pain level was on a scale of one to ten. It was about eleven, but I lied and said “four” since I didn’t want anyone to think I was a wuss.

Fortunately the nurse brought me a shot cup with a dose of liquid vicodin elixir despite my tough guy act. The medicine burned like fire as it hit the back of my throat, and I remember thinking that if it hurt that bad while the anethesia was still wearing off I was in for a rough recovery. I spent the next two hours in recovery, and somewhere in that time frame they allowed an angel of mercy, Robin, to come back and stay with me. I ate ice chips and jello to prove I was able to swallow.

There was a tracheotomy kit perched at the foot of my bed…a constant reminder of what happens when this procedure goes wrong. Doctor Gonzales stopped in to give some instructions and prescriptions to Robin, and told her the kit was a precaution, and that he’d never had to use it in all the times he’s performed UPPP procedures.

He told us that the pain would get much worse before it started getting better, and that we could expect the back of my throuat to become very grotesque with various nasty colors over the next several days. He said that would be normal, as well as a foul odor as I was healing.

He was right on all counts. I took some pictures so I could see what things were looking like. I wished I hadn’t. The human throat is just downright nasty when it’s healing from a major amount of cutting like this. And no, there’s no way I’m going to post the pics.

I slept in half-hour increments the rest of the day and night, asking for pain meds every time I awoke. That was going to be the routine, because the pain was what was waking me up. Robin (thank God for her) stood firm and gave me doses on the schedule that the doctor prescribed; no more, no less. She was very efficient in making certain I didn’t run out of that precious liquid vicodine.

On day two I followed the same routine, although I was able to eat some scrambled eggs with loads of butter. I found that ice water was about the only thing I could swallow without intense pain, and also discovered that too little or too big a swallow would send liquid down the wrong pipe, resulting in a choking and coughing fit that was insanely painful. I learned quickly to sip in a teaspoon at a time.

The narcotic syrup never eliminated the pain, it just took enough of the edge off to make it somewhat bearable and allow me to get a few naps in during that precious half hour after taking the vicodine when it was acting at its peak.

Day three seemed a bit better. I was able to stretch the time between medicine doses, and I thought maybe I was over the worst of it.

Wrong. Day four arrived and it felt as if someone had given that pine cone a fresh twist. The pain was worse than it had ever been. By the end of the day it had subsided back to what it had been on day three.

I’m en route to bed at the end of day four now. Hopefully I’ll be feeling just a little better in the morning. It’s still too early to tell, but I think my obstructive sleep apnea will be largely reduced or eliminated all together by the time the healing is done. It just feels like I can breath better already.

avatar Barbara Calnan

Hey Guys, any advice with this? I had UPPP about 4 weeks ago and reading through this thread I went through all that and although no longer painful, apart from the odd burp! I now have a piece of loose white tissue on the end of where the uvula was. It was not there initially. It flaps about and I am hoping it will come loose and disappear but no sign of that yet. Anyone else get this too?

avatar Deka

I had my surgery at 2pm yesterday afternoon; right now it 11:30pm so about 33 hours after surgery I guess. Got the whole works anterior functional septorhinoplasty, Left Fess (sinus), bilateral inferior turbinoplasty, UPPP & addenotonssilectomy, Coblation to tongue.

Could sleep only around 2am the day of the surgery, was shifted to ICU for observation after surgery. Woke up in ICU pretty disoriented. Came clean with my history. Pain level was about a 3 but with the stoppers up my nostrils and the stitches in my throat it was like a slow suffocation, which I think progressively got worse as junk filled up my nostrils. Towards the end I was only breathing through my mouth. Watched 3 movies on my laptop back to back to pass the time. There was an older lady in the ICU (from some other procedure) who was constantly crying every couple of hours so needed my headphones on. Finally tired myself enough to sleep for a bit at 2am, though I think I woke up about 5 times in those three hours. Immediately after I awoke I was shifting positions and had a very small number 2 accident. Went to the bathroom with all the wires on me to change boxers. Nurse realized what had happened and said it was pretty common after anaesthetics (very embaressing nevertheless). The pain level, as I said, was not too high. Its too early to tell but I think a lot depends on the skill of the surgeon. I chose one who is supposed to be the best in his field in Sydney – maybe I am a bit too hasty to comment on this but I am going only by my pain level over the last 32 hours. Also I asked him point blank before the procedure if there could be any side effects like food/ water going up the wrong pipe and he replied that there were no chances of that happening in the modified UPPP that he follows since he only trims/ reshapes the uvula. Also about the change in voice side effect he was very comforting. I havent had any of that yet so thats comforting. I have been sipping water slowly since the surgery, finished almost a litre bottle on the first night, which I think really helped since the guy next to me needed to have a cathter fixed (which i think is horrible). Also this is probably not a uncommon surgery since about 3 people out of six in the ICU had procedures similar to mine (may be a conincidence on the night I dont know). I woke up at 5am today morning and around six the nose stoppers were pulled out, alongwith which came out the ugliest of junks. But I have been breathing a lot easier since. Have had a liquid diet throughout the day.Tried some mash, scrabled eggs, bread dipped in soup but just feels too uneasy on the stitches. Went for number 2 about three times, the first time was all black junk, blood I had swallowed it seems. Pain got a little worse since 6pm today evening. There is a bit of tongue swelling and the throat feels a little worse than morning. Just woke up called the nurse and had a dose of the pain relief. Maybe will watch a movie now since I have been sleeping for the last 5 hours. I know the worst might be yet to come? But till now its not been unbearable. I will try to post again.

avatar Jenna

Post op day 4 of UPPP, tonsilectomy and adenoidectomy!
Honestly the worst pain I’ve ever had to experience in my life.
Was prescribed liquid Hydromorphone/dilauted and I’m currently out and don’t have any refills. Heading to the hospital in the morning to try and get some better pain management.
I have the referred pain in both of my ears now too. I’m finally able to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time, I’ll sleep from 2-3 hours at a time but when I wake up I’m in the most excruciating pain. I’ve been taking Tylenol and ibuprofen like it’s candy.
I don’t know how much more I can handle of this to be honest, I’m just praying for a tiny bit of relief soon

If you don’t have to have this surgery, DON’T! The recovery is absolutely miserable 🙁

avatar John

Like many others stated, I found this to be a very useful website in researching what people went through with this surgery. I was scared to death and delayed it over a decade. Funny thing for me was that I had very little pain and quit the prescription after 4 days. Of course it was still painful to actually swallow, but I moved to chicken broth and mashed potatoes after a few days and it seemed to work out well. Unlike some others I had VERY little sleep for a couple weeks which was downright scary. I had excessive salivation and had to continuously spit which woke me up hour after hour for a couple weeks. I was concerned if it would ever go away, but by a month later I was getting better sleep and it appears to have been a good move for me to get this over with. My other comment would be to allow plenty of time to recover. I am in sales and went back to work in ONE week, but it was tremendously difficult and it is hard to believe I did it. If you can take 2 or 3 weeks off you will be ready to go in most cases! Don’t be afraid to try it, but take the advice you read on this forum about hydration, pain meds, food, softeners, etc!

avatar Oj

I’m on day 16th of my UPPP bit still I’m still having a feeling as if there is a stitches in my throat, Though I can eat some food and no pains in the hear any more like that of day 7. I feel better than ever but I need to know if there is anyone having this kind of experience and to know if it’s normal to feel like something is being paste on my throat.

avatar Will Hogarty

The white bugs outside aren’t related. They’re called wooly aphids. They just look like lint.It seems a lot,if not all people suffering, are positive for Lyme disease. The tests your dr will order aren’t sufficient. Pay for your test and file through insurance. Use Igenex or fry labs. This is why you suffer and your spouse doesn’t.

avatar Allen

wow there is a lot of first hand experience shared on this site. I wish I read it beforehand.

The other bit I would add , and please excuse the indelicacy of this explanation; I had the uppp, tonsils Septum and Turbinators all worked on. The amount of blood and mucus and snot that my nose produced was unbelievable. My nose was completely blocked so every bit of that nasel drip/ tsunami went out the back of the nose and into my throat. As I slept the blood and snot would accumulate in layers and layers. My mouth was open while I slept, so everything got dried out, my saliva was thick enough to stretch from my lip to the sink without breaking.
The codiene worked for about 3 ½ hours. So I could get a bit of sleep. When I woke up from the pain I wanted to down another does of the medication. But first I had to hack up the layers of snot and blood. Any liquid, water medication etc, would loosen up a silver dollar sized bloody snot blob for my to choke up and hack out. Each time I woke up I had to do this 15-20 times before I could get and medication down to dull the pain.

I was on a four hour cycle for 6 days; sleep for a hour or two, hack up blood for 30 minutes, take medications, stare at nothing until I managed to sleep some more. After 3 days of this my body started to not allow me to sleep in order to avoid the pain that was going to follow it. So I added sleep deprivation to the misery. And then I got a fever.

Day 6 the doctor removed the plastic supports and gauze in my nose. It was the best thing. I could breathe!!!!!!!! I’ve gotten a bit better every day after that. Realistically you’ll need two full weeks before you can start to work.

Oh, codiene Jell-O shots, trust me.

avatar Chance Fate

Alright well… I am having my UPPP tomorrow (Dec 14th, 2017).

I am glad I found this page with all these stories, because I started off watching a youtube video of the surgery and then every single comment was people saying their lives were ruined forever after having the surgery and how they’d never have done it if they’d known.

It’s really great to read real stories from a bunch of people, and the advice is top notch. I’m going out tonight to get the dry mouth spray, I’m going to get my humidifier out of the attic… I’m going to make sure I can get crushed ice ready.

I am super freaked out, but it’s nice to know other people have gone through this and made it out the other side alive!

avatar Kevin

Day7, pretty much the same as day 3 on. Hurts to eat, losing weight (slimming down for the holidays). Does anyone else have severe pain when burping?

avatar Phill in TX

First off, I would like to thank Tim for sharing his experience and keeping this post active, and to thank the other posters – misery loves company and I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I had my UPPP done on 10/25/17 and the fact I’m still trolling for post-recovery insight, says that it still hurts. For me, I did not know until 20 min before the procedure that they were going to remove the uvula. So, after a brief consultation and assurances that hundreds of people that month had the surgery, I conceded. (I thought we were doing a “reduction”, but not to zero). I was told I would have a sore throat (true that.). I do not have and never had sleep apnea – I went to the doctor as a surprise for my wife to stop my (supposed) loud snoring. I thought it would be a nice gesture to get it checked out / fixed. I had a very blocked nasal passage from a deviated septum and due to the forceful air intake, a stretched soft palate and uvula.

I was knocked out, but my whole procedure: balloon-oplasty +UPPP and soft palate reduction took 20 minutes. I’m 48, never had surgery before, still have my tonsils, and never got wisdom teeth. I started feeling pain on the car ride home, and when then CVS pharmacist asked when we wanted to pick up the meds, still loopy from anesthesia I yelled “STAT!” I was prescribed many drugs – Percoset / Hydrocodene for pain (as needed), a pain-killing gel to gargle with, steroids for recovery (1x/day), anti-biotics (2x/day), and a special nasal spray (2x/day).

Other than give me a pleasant warming buzz, the Percoset did not help the pain – good ‘ol Advil helps the most for me. I tried the gel and it was hard to gargle with – too thick. I was concerned Chloroseptic might sting so I did not do that. Most things I have eaten have been too spicy and I drink cold water with every bite. Even heated food comes across as burning, so I have to let it cool. I have slightly altered my diet to avoid spices and heat, but not texture – I’ve eaten an egg McMuffin, pizza, and beer (very spicy, but good for me). I do eat less – partially because I’m eating slower and feel full earlier – oh, and it hurts, so I give up. As long as I chase with water it’s tolerable. One poster suggested to do preventative maintenance – so taking Advil well before eating or sleeping helps a lot.

The other gotcha for me was that we got our first cold front on the 2nd day and turned on our heater. I work up with the most insane, painful drymouth and throat – like it had been microwaved. I megadosed on water and pain meds, but this continued for a couple of days. The suggestions of a humidifier are really ideal if you live in a dry climate – I don’t, so I didn’t have one. Luckily, the cold front went away in a couple days.

So, on Day 8 I am still eating bland food and drinking lots of water, which is probably good for me. Still taking Advil a couple times a day. Throat still hurts in the morning. Teeth and jaw hurt from time to time. Supposedly the antibiotics were going to give me diarrhea, but I’ve only had one partial poop in a week, so that’s not the case. I don’t feel constipated, maybe I am just eating the right amount.

I worked from home on Day 2 because my nose was still bleeding, but went to work on Day 3, and since then. Wife says snoring is different, but not gone – that’s expected since my sinuses and soft tissue are still very inflamed from the surgery. Hope this helps others and is good reading for y’all. Checkup in 2 more weeks, and hope to provide good news next post.

avatar Avy

I had mine on the 3rd of July. The day after I walked out of the hospital and was ready to push bike home. My pain was around 2-3 when I swallowed and totally fine all other times.
I went home and had a few hours sleep and thought it was going to be a cake walk…

Then the good pain killers wore off and I was stuck with the shit they had prescribed me. I am still furious that instead of giving me the good pain killers like they said they would they cut me down to crap you would get at the supermarket and all of it in pill form, friggin paracetamol and ibuprofen. I had to go back to the hospital 2 days ago to get some codeine, some more liquid pain killers and liquid antibiotics instead of amoxicillin pills the size of a finger joint.

Now I am not too bad. The only real issue is eating. That sets off the pain in my right ear even through my pain killers so I have to put in those little foam ear bud things to minimise the pain.
Seriously, try it. Plugging your ears when eating cuts the pain down a lot for me.

The Dr said I would hate him for the pain the surgery caused. I don’t. I do however hate him for giving me garbage pain killers and all in pill form.

Honestly, if only I could make the ear pain go away I would be all good to go though I am waking up with a terrible dry and painful mouth but at least now I am getting a good few hours sleep. The first few days I got like an hour or so at best.
And yeah, I too have not gone #2 in about 4 days. I also find that eating hot food and drinks helps. Cold is a big nono for me, room temp aint bad but hot scrambled eggs and hot drinks go down easier.

avatar Gary

Seeing as how this thread is on Googles first page results for “UPPP recovery” and has a lot of helpful comments, I decided to share a few things that have helped me immensely, that could help other people as well. I just had a UPPP (Uvulua cut and cauterized, but soft palate was untouched) with a Septum straightening and turbinoplasty. I’m on Day 11 and am still dealing with the same Pain. Oddly my sinus’s are the least trouble. But the throat pain….

1) Buy a few bottles of Biotene Mouth Moisturizing Spray. This stuff has been crucial to me making it through the night. I squirt a few shots in my mouth, which sting a tiny bit (nothing like food) and then swallow. Helps when you wake up from pain too.
2) Take 2 weeks off from work if possible. I attempted to go back to work after week 1 and that was a mistake. My job is not exactly physically demanding either….
3) My Ear and Teeth pain (felt like I’ve been clenching my Jaw for hours) were caused by the UPPP and Sinus work inflaming different nerves that route to the Ear and Teeth. My Doc Prescribed Prednisone for this and has helped immensely. Had to ask for a refill towards day 9. Worth dealing with the side effects. Also helps with the throat pain.
4) I’m regretting not gargling with salt water. This appears to help a lot!

Hope this helps.


avatar Ron

This thread has been very helpful and i wanted to share my experience. I had the full tonsil removsl, uvula removal and palate triming as well as chiseled nose to remove nasal blockage. 1st day was God aweful. I knew in advance the pain everyone said but nothing prepared me for it. I pretty much slept as much as possible to get through it. Although most times it was 10 mins here and there because pain woke me up. I couldnt breathe and felt chlosterphobic due to the damn tampons shoved up both nostrils. They said i could pull them out next day well i got to 2am and they came out. Better but still couldnt breathe. Day 2 felt better. Less sleep and more mikd pain. Oh i figured back to work on day 3. Atleast to sit and oversee some work in my auto restoration shop. Then dinner and movie’s to catch up w family bonfing time. Major major mistake. I paid the price in pain. Day 4 (current day) gas been aweful. The ear pain on days 3-4 have been excruciating. I mean worst than any ear infection ive ever had, that doesn’t go away but is constant. The side of my face by temples and back upper teeth are killing me as well as tongue pain. The throat feels like i swallowed 15 pcs popcorn and the kernels are are stuck on back of throat and you cant swallow to free them. The throat and ear pain have had me on constant pain meds around the clock. Oxycodone then motrin 3 hrs later, motrin another 3hrs then Oxy in 3 hrs, repeat. Thats been lastv4 days and hasnt even taken the edge off the pain level. Pain level has been constant 9 of 10….

avatar Ron

Im currently on day 5. Day 4 brought alot of typos due to phone typing and pain meds lol. Anyway days 4+5 brought a fever. Not crazy high but 99.6 and enough to make me get the chills and sweats. The damn ear pain hasn’t gone away. Pain meds need to overlap so theres no delay in them kicking in or the ear pain gets insane. Had to call doctor to see if all this is normal. He said he injects local in the mouth areas during surgery and the local seems to hang on a day or two longer thats why all of a sudden the ears hurt 2 days later, plus the same nerves are being affected. He said he felt bad because i had the works done,and expect this level of pain minimum 6-7 days. Now i did discover something last night. Because of the nose surgery ive had no choice but to mouth breathe. Last night i forced myself to attempt conjested nose breathing. It worked! The constant mouth breathing was irritating throat that much more! If i nose breathe, it drops pain level in throat from an 8 to a 4. Still stuck on diet of mashed potatoes, yogurt, soup and green tea. Dying for real food! Overall though day 5 pain much much lower because of nose breathing. As soon as i mouth breathe pain spikes drastically.

avatar Ron

Well day 6 brought a set back. I havent slept in days. Im up all night taking pain meds and gargling w salt water to cut the pain then just cant get comfortable trying to sleep upright in the recliner in living room. Pain was through the roof even though i managed to eat real food today. Chewing however brings imediate ear pain. Back to not talking all day. Throat is just raw… pain level 8 again…

avatar Ron

Day 7. Exactly 1 week from surgery. Today i felt absolutely horrible. I managed to drive to my shop today. Got scrambled eggs from wawa on the way. Pulled into my shop and just sat in truck trying to eat eggs. I managed about 4 or 5 fork fulls then ear pain set in from chewing. I just sat in truck fir about 2 hours. I tried to get some actual work done but barely functioned all day. I HAD to cut grass though when i got in. I did that, got shower, took oxy pain pill and sat in my recliner for the night. Couldnt manage to talk all day/night. Throat hurts that bad. 8pm i needed something else in my belly beside 4 forks of eggs from the am. Ate a can of Campbell’s bean soup which i drank and swallowed without chewing. That’s it. Pain an 8. Going to bed. Still cant sleep more than 1-2 hours per night though.

avatar Karen

It has been exactly 1 year since my UPPP. I had uvula, tonsils removed and soft palate cut.
I have been sleeping very well, it worked for me as I had very bad sleep apnea.
My only complaint is the I fell like a potato chip is stuck in the back of my throat, you just know it’s there. I also feel like nothing really tastes that good to me anymore. I was wondering if that happen to you.

avatar Infinite Reality

I’m on day 4 of mine, had it done Friday and was out patient surgery and back at work on Monday. It’s pretty exhausting to say the least, you definitely don’t get much sleep. Also totally agree with up/down part, or 2 steps forward 1 step back stuff. That’s exactly how it seems, I think to myself I’m getting better and then few hours later I feel worse.

The severe lack of sleep is by far the worse part. It always has been a sharp pain to swallow, sometimes more than others, but normally the pain isn’t bad at all. Since Friday most I’ve eaten was Popsicles and 1 thing of barely warm Ramen. I can feel my body fighting infection which is more annoying than anything, sometimes I have chills and sometimes I’m hot. Very fidgety too as I’ve come to notice, especially at work.

Hopefully things keep getting better by the day and by next weekend I’ll be back in my shop killing time once again.

avatar Richard Houzvicka

I just had my Uppp and tonsillectomy on Thursday 7/21/16. Truthfully it wasn’t near as bad as I figured it would’ve been. I had been reading these sites for information as to how bad it would be, and had all these stories built up in my head of the excruciating pain. I stayed up the night prior to the surgery from nerves, so when I got to the hospital the next morning, having not slept any, once I spoke with the anesthesiologist and the Dr came in to pre-op, I just laid down and went to sleep. I never felt the iv go in and woke up in post o.o recovery. I have garbled memories of a suction tube, but according to the tech that was sitting with me, that was all shortly after they brought me into recovery. I was fully awake within an hr after the procedure and sat there talking with the techs sucking on ice chips for the next 3 hours while they monitored me. Then I was wheeled to my room and asked where my pain level was, truthfully this whole experience has been extremely minimal. I have felt great other than extreme discomfort and what feels like a line of wet sand sitting on the far back reaches of my tongue, the only medicine I’ve had since leaving recovery has been the liquid steroids and the mouth gargle they have me. Chloroseptic spray has helped as well as very frequent gargling with warm salt water, but truthfully; as far as the pain goes, I feel amazing. I can tell a difference breathing not only in sleeping, but even just in walking around or sitting on the couch. I feel as if I am able to take deeper, fuller breaths of air, and it just literally makes me feel like friggen superman. I go for my first post op check up this coming thursday to check the surgery site, and see how things are going from there. The one thing I guess that has helped me out was that I really researched my surgeon. I chose one that specializes in reconstruction of cancer patients of that area. I figure most any doctor can take something out, but it takes more skill to take it out and rebuild what’s left. So far, I’ve been very very pleased. I hope others of you considering this procedure have the effects that I seemingly have had so far.

avatar Greg

Like everyone else has said before me, this article and these comments were a huge help pre- and post-surgery. And like everyone else before me, I’ll be entirely honest: this has been a dreadful experience.

Day 1: post-surgery, my throat was frozen and because I was on an IV and being regularly injected with Morphine, the experience wasn’t that bad all things considering.
Day 2: It only really hurt to swallow, had a fever for a bit but it went away. Doctor’s told me I could crush my pain medicine and mix it in with pudding so that helped. Not a great day, but the pain was manageable
Day 3: Fever nearly all day long, pain spiked in the afternoon to epic proportions, pain meds did absolutely nothing. Can’t sleep for more than 30 mins at a time before swallowing in my sleep and waking up in pain.
Day 4: The morning was a breeze, but once again, the afternoon hit and the pain became debilitating – practically in tears. Couldnt even swallow the pain meds. Just an awful day with a 24/7 fever again
Day 5: Same as above 🙁
Day 6: Here we go….hopefully today and the rest of my recovery goes a lot smoother. I’ve already lost 8 pounds, haven’t slept for more than 30 mins at a time since the hospital.

A few pointers:
– If the doctor’s allow it, absolutely crush your pain meds and mix them with pudding or apple sauce, etc. This is a life saver
– Don’t forget to use a laxative. Even if you haven’t eaten much, trust me…
– Drinking is going to be painful but you need to hydrate. Take your meds then try to drink a glass of water 30 mins after, once the meds have kicked it. Should hurt far less. Avoid acidic juices!
– Gargle your mouth with salt water. It doesn’t hurt and really does help the healing process. This is NO reason why you shouldnt do this.
– Pray that it will end soon

avatar Gary Chiasson

Day Six: April 3, 2016

The only thing I’ve eaten since the surgery other than broth and smoothies has been cottage cheese and a bit of Mac and cheese. The cottage cheese kind of hurts because of the curds, but it does feel good to actually eat my lunch and not drink it.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a lot of pain in my throat … It seems I slept with my mouth open and everything got really dry. I read somewhere that it is best to sleep with a humidifier, so I got one before the surgery but it didn’t work right out of the box (thanks CVS). Now I wish I had taken it back and exchanged it. Still, I had some water and felt better in 30 minutes.

All in all, not so bad. The surgery was Monday, and it’s now Sunday and I just finished mowing the lawn. I have to say it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It hurts to swallow still, but nothing like what it was even two days ago, and even that was tolerable. I’m feeling better by the hour now and intend to be at work tomorrow morning, exactly one week later. Granted, it’s a desk job, so I’m not doing anything physical.

I have to get a little personal here, so I apologize in advance, but if you are considering the surgery, you’ll thank me for this later. TAKE A STOOL SOFTENER REGULARLY. The pain meds block you up. My Dr. told me to take one, and I didn’t, because I didn’t really feel the need to go. It dawned on me yesterday that it was Saturday and I hadn’t sat on the toilet since the previous Saturday. Late morning, I started getting a little pain in my abdomen. I sat on the toilet and couldn’t make anything happen. It hurts to strain to hard, so I just sat there doing the best I could with no results. I would up really getting uncomfortable, and at my wife’s suggestion, went to the pharmacy and bought a $3 saline enema. I’ll spare you all the details, but I think I know what it’s like to give birth now. That was the worst part of this whole experience and – no joke – after 20 minutes on the toilet, I weighed 4.2 lbs. less than when I sat down!

I have been gargling with warm salt water pretty regularly (7-8 times a day) and that really seems to help. One teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. The salt draws the fluid from your tissue and it seems to really help with the swelling, which makes it hurt less. I have a friend who is a surgeon and he recommended that I do this and I’m convinced it has made a big difference. I have friends who had this surgery and couldn’t even drive for two full weeks. Mine was less than a week ago and I’m working in the yard, and have been driving since Day 4, and I had a LOT cut out.

Last thing – it’s really gross to look at. I have taken a picture every morning and every night since Day 3 to check for improvement. I won’t even show the pictures to my wife, even now that I’m feeling better. It’s really awful. I’m already sleeping better though, even with the stitches still in, so I think it’s going to be worth it.

avatar Garfield

October 2016
At last found a site specific.
I have to say I appreciate these shared experiences, because i am at day eight, with thrush in mouth, haven’t slept in bed for six nights and when i did, it was back down stairs for some comfort. I have read the view of the relevance of the uvula and point applicable to me is saliva build up in mouth, no matter how much swallowing, my mouth is wet especially at the back. Mild pain in left ear at early stages, then noted a pattern and hey presto pain in right ear and i know it there. Have tried to space at pain relief, but still taking them and codine phosphate. Also using difflam oral rinse and nystan for the thrush – (due to antibiotics). Brush as usual and another brush for tongue. Less coated and white, tongue feels tender at back. Swallowing and i feel it in the throat.
Day six stitch on the roof has come away and gunky stuff is attached, day seven 4.30 a.m. up again (in bed) 6 a.m. woken with a start that stitch is hanging on back of tongue, now fighting to suppress gag reflex. Just a little bit of a panic. Call wife at work (nurse) wait until she gets home. Right, bowel of wet a bix, pushes back to dangling, but tickling tongue, but now it to far back to reach to snip it. Gp visit he says get to A & E, doctor also says to far down mouth off to ENT. In chair saying rrrrr, tongue pushed down, killing the rrrrr (because it so tender). Relief some seven hours later. (It was working it way on to the tongue then to one side then back to hanging).
Food – soup, i love jelly, wet a bix, not getting on with any mash potatoes or scramble egg – always need water to wash it down.
Started to use salt mouth wash now to aid healing process, and do feel a little better to have discovered this site.
It seems there a big difference to service in the states as to what taken place so far here in the UK, as offered by the Nhs service. Its the only procedure they will do on a Gp referral, otherwise it sought your self out and be prepared to pay. Thank you for the shared experience.

avatar Jeffery Mcleroy

So im on Day 5 And I Just Got Consuming Liquids Down Like They use To Come Out My Nose
Like I Cant Really swallow to Much still but when i try to drink ice cold water or gaterade my neck flares up again i might need tobtake my goliet softner pills again lol
But Overall Does The Warm Salt Water Really work?!

avatar Gary C.

And on to Day 3. This is Wednesday, March 30, 2016 and I had my UPPP surgery on Monday, March 28. I continue to only feel pain when I swallow. I’m on liquid Lortab and that seem to be working. It’s starting to look nasty on the inside of throat, with yellow gross stuff all over the surgery spot. I ate some cheese and broccoli soup this morning and have started gargling with salt water every few hours. I’m sleepy because I can’t seem to get any sleep; the pain is pretty sharp when I swallow, so every time I get close to falling asleep, I swallow involuntarily and the pain wakes me.

I continue to be surprised though; there is virtually no pain unless I swallow or speak above a whisper.

It’s early afternoon still. I went to the supermarket with my wife this morning and walked all over the place without issue.

avatar Gary C

March 29, 2016
It’s been 24 hours since the surgery and no change. The surgeon came by this morning and said it looked great, they’re giving me a prescription for liquid Lortab and sending me home. Swallowing is agonizing, and other than that, so far it’s a piece of cake. I didn’t sleep much at all last night because every time I got to sleep, I would swallow and that would wake me. Hopefully being at home in my own bed will help and I’ll be able to get some sleep tonight.

All in all, it’s not too bad – not comfortable, but nowhere near as miserable as I thought it would be. I’m gearing up for tomorrow though – everyone says it will get worse before it gets better.

avatar Gary C

I had my UPPP surged with tonsillectomy on March 28, 2016. It’s just about midnight now and I got out of the recovery room about 14 hours ago.

My first impression is that if I didn’t have to swallow, I could jog home in the morning. As long as I’m not swallowing or speaking excessively, it feels normal.

I have had ice chips, water, beef broth (not too hot), Jello, and a protein shake, so nothing solid. The protein shake caused one mucous buildup in the back of my throat, so might just stick with clear liquids tomorrow.

For pain, I’m on 7.5 mg liquid Lortab. They kept me overnight and I’m going home tomorrow and frankly, I’m going to request something stronger. I’m wide awake because every time I swallow while sleep in it hurts and the pain wakes me.

Still, compared to many others who have posted, it seems I’m pretty fortunate. I understand the worst is still to come, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for what the next few days will bring.

avatar J Thomas

Great site, thank you I’m on day 11 post UPPP with Tonsillectomy. One thing I wanted to let any future patients know try Coconut water to stay hydrated. The viscosity is just a bit more “soft” then water so it goes down easier. I’ve stayed hydrated going back and forth between the coconut and regular water and have not had any hydration issues. My pain and symptoms matched pretty much everything on here so I won’t give details about them. One other thing I just went to the bathroom the first time post-op and wish I’d taken a stool softener… Number 2 was very difficult. Thanks again for all the great info and speedy recovery wishes to all!

avatar Bobby A

I had a UP3 with a modified or trimmed uvula 5 days ago and it went great, I was told that the pain is pretty challenging and read a lot of this blog and felt I was prepared. the doctor and his nurse prepared me for the worst but I thought well I will just tough it out and of course pray because really God loves us and wants us to communicate with Him through prayer so I thought I have relied on God throughout my life which prepared me to trust that He will get me through this too. Also my angel wife is amazing and I thank God for her all the time, I am a blessed person to have her in my life.

I had mild sleep apnea and wore a CPAP for the last 5 years and the sleep apnea most likely caused the Affib that I had a heart ablation for. The first night after the surgery was not really bad at all as far as pain goes and really it has been OK, just stay on your med plan, that is key. The biggest thing that I noticed within the first few days is that for the first time in my life I CAN BREATHE!! I never knew a person could breathe so good, it was like wow this is crazy amazing, I CAN BREATHE!!!

I am at day 5 but I would say if you have sleep apnea get it done, don’t put it off and don’t worry about all of the horror stories, each person is different. I believe in God and His helpfulness and am thankful for His help in this. I also have been a smoker since a teenager and now I am 58 so i am also taking this time to stop smoking. Smoking cannot be a thing to do during this recovery with all of those stitches in your throat so I have been wearing a nicotine patch and it is helpful, between the UP3 surgery and not smoking like I said I feel for like the first time in my life I can breathe normally, clear passageway and clean windpipe not having the smokers windpipe feeling.

I started out at 209 LBS and am down to 204.5 LBS which is good because I wanted to lose about 10 LBS for the last bunch of months and eating yogurt and soft foods is helping me lose weight. If you have sleep apnea I would recommend to not wait around just get it done. Like I said I had atrial fibrillation for years, a cardiologist just gave me meds, beta blockers, that always made me feel over tired, took the edge off. I went to an Electro Physiologist (I am sure I spelled that wrong) and he said that I most likely had sleep apnea which in-turn starves the heart of oxygen when you sleep which causes Affib. I had heart ablation surgery where they go in and burn off nerves that causes your heart to go into affib which is caused by the sleep apnea and that worked great. The ablation surgery is not a big deal, just one night in the hospital no real pain, if you have affib go see an EP doctor, get the surgery, it fixes it.

So if you have sleep apnea I would STRONGLY suggest to get the UP3 surgery done to correct it, the sleep apnea just leads to other problems and is the root of many problems. Even if you are someone that has a tough recovery the couple of weeks after the UP3 surgery it is worth a better quality of life and of course always pray.

I will follow up as I get near the end of my recovery, thanks.

avatar Stacey

I’m on day three of recovery. I had a tonsillectomy, UPPP, corrected a deviated septum and removed built up sinus pressure.

I’m going to try gargling salt water because the swelling and pressure in my face is so uncomfortable. I also have tubes in my nose and a constant bloody drip. Hopefully I’ll be in better shape like you guys in a few days.

I can’t imagine why people voluntarily go through surgery to change their looks, this has been the most unpleasant experience. I also get emotional because of the liquid codine. It gives me grippy dreams and I wake up in tears.

avatar Olivia

I know what you mean, Stacey! Super comforting reading everyone’s post on here, I’m on day 5 post op and I also cannot fathom how people could choose to go surgery for an aesthetic change.

It’s been a pretty rough couple of days, it does seem to get worse, and I considered myself to have a high tolerance to pain, but this has really tested it.

Wish I had someone to talk to about how horrible I feel, but this comment section has been great enough for some solidarity and understanding.
Hope noone’s had any complications – spare me a prayer and thought if you could, I’d appreciate it greatly.

avatar Bobby A

I had a UP3 with a modified or trimmed uvula 5 days ago and it went great, I was told that the pain is pretty challenging and read a lot of this blog and felt I was prepared. the doctor and his nurse prepared me for the worst but I thought well I will just tough it out and of course pray because really God loves us and wants us to communicate with Him through prayer so I thought I have relied on God throughout my life which prepared me to trust that He will get me through this too. Also my angle wife is amazing and I thank God for her all the time, I am a blessed person to have her in my life.

I had mild sleep apnea and wore a CPAP for the last 5 years and the sleep apnea most likely caused the Affib that I had a heart ablation for. The first night after the surgery was not really bad at all as far as pain goes and really it has been OK, just stay on your med plan, that is key. The biggest thing that I noticed within the first few days is that for the first time in my life I CAN BREATHE!! I never knew a person could breathe so good, it was like wow this is crazy amazing, I CAN BREATHE!!!

I am at day 5 but I would say if you have sleep apnea get it done, don’t put it off and don’t worry about all of the horror stories, each person is different. I believe in God and His helpfulness and am thankful for His help in this. I also have been a smoker since a teenager and now I am 58 so i am also taking this time to stop smoking. Smoking cannot be a thing to do during this recovery with all of those stitches in your throat so I have been wearing a nicotine patch and it is helpful, between the UP3 surgery and not smoking like I said I feel for like the first time in my life I can breathe normally, clear passageway and clean windpipe not having the smokers windpipe feeling.

I started out at 209 LBS and am down to 204.5 LBS which is good because I wanted to lose about 10 LBS for the last bunch of months and eating yogurt and soft foods is helping me lose weight. If you have sleep apnea I would recommend to not wait around just get it done. Like I said I had atrial fibrillation for years, a cardiologist just gave me meds, beta blockers, that always made me feel over tired, took the edge off. I went to an Electro Physiologist (I am sure I spelled that wrong) and he said that I most likely had sleep apnea which in-turn starves the heart of oxygen when you sleep which causes Affib. I had heart ablation surgery where they go in and burn off nerves that causes your heart to go into affib which is caused by the sleep apnea and that worked great. The ablation surgery is not a big deal, just one night in the hospital no real pain, if you have affix go see an EP doctor, get the surgery, it fixes it.

So if you have sleep apnea I would STRONGLY suggest to get the UP3 surgery done to correct it, the sleep apnea just leads to other problems and is the root of many problems. Even if you are someone that has a tough recovery the couple of weeks after the UP3 surgery it is worth a better quality of life and of course always pray.

I will follow up as I get near the end of my recovery, thanks.

avatar Dane

I had a modified (uvula-preserving) UPPP on August 19th at the Stanford Hospital by Robson Capasso. (My uvula, to be sure, was “trimmed”.) It’s been a little over 48 hours since the operation. Pain has been surprisingly minimal, nothing greater than a 4, and only a 4 when the pain medication has almost run its course. This website prepared me for the worst but my experience so far has been very manageable.

A little background on me: 34 years old, 6 foot 3, normal BMI (188 pounds), relatively small tonsils, and AHI of 14. Although my AHI is moderate, my sleep apnea symptoms are strong–I have felt very exhausted this past year from poor sleep and simply cannot function without the CPAP.

I should underscore that I had ONLY the UPPP. It seems that many people on this forum have had more pain from the UPPP operation than I have had because they have combined the UPPP with additional operations, e.g., septoplasty and tongue ablation. I should mention that I had a septoplasty and turbinate reduction 2 months ago and I had my my adenoids removed as a child.

Medications prescribed for my UPPP: 10/325 Percocet every 6 hours, 200 mg Celebrex twice a day as an anti-inflammatory, OTC stool softener as needed, and ondansetron for nausea as needed.

Please note that Celebrex is the only anti-inflammatory drug on the market that does not thin your blood. This property makes the drug very expensive, but it also greatly reduces the chance of developing a bleeding situation that requires and ER visit and cauterization.

I spent only one night in the hospital per Stanford’s policy.

I was able to walk around my apartment the next day and to drink enough to stay hydrated, albeit with a lot of discomfort.

Expect to have a swollen tongue, in addition to a swollen uvula and soft palate. I have also had lots of saliva build up which is difficult to swallow. I have eaten hardly anything in three days mostly because of a very low appetite rather than discomfort swallowing.

That’s it for now. I can’t say yet that the UPPP surgery will help me to get a better night’s rest, but I can say that not every UPPP surgery is extremely painful.

avatar Dane

Me again (“Dane” from above). Here is another update, written as I am half-way through recovery Day 5.

The pain has stayed at similar level from Day 2. The first two days of recovery were almost painless, never greater than a 4. Days 3 and 4 were similar. The only issue is that I thought the pain would subside but it has continued to hum along at a moderate/mild level. I also thought the swelling would diminish gradually and substantially. But I am still about as swollen as I was on the first few days. BTW, I was able to go 12 hours without the percocet on the third day until I got a little dehydrated and realized that drinking without the percocet was not going to be pleasant.

As far as pain, I have not experienced any acute, sharp pain (a “twisting pine cone”), but rather a pain that is more similar to muscle soreness. I have also not experienced a total-body weirdness/funk from the surgery itself, but more of a local muscle trauma. The percocet, I should mention, takes the pain away COMPLETELY. But the percocet also does produce some total-body weirdness, making me feel sleepy, no appetite, gives me a floating feeling when I am walking, makes it hard to concentrate, and takes away all bowel movements (no movements in 4 days, although I have stuck completely to a liquid diet, so there really isn’t any ruffage or fibrous material in my system, and I should say that I do not feel any significant stomach discomfort). I personally think that having a low appetite is a very positive side effect of percocet because it can be uncomfortable without the percocet.

I have been salivating a LOT over the past four days. It’s much more comfortable to spit this out than to swallow it.

I have been sleeping much better, dreaming vividly and waking up without headaches. Hopefully this positive outcome will continue even when the swelling has diminished.

I haven’t experienced any globus sensation (foreign body sensation) or swallowing problems. Everything is going down the right pipe. I think this might be because my uvula was trimmed rather than excised completely.

As for my voice, I can’t say yet whether there will be any hyper-nasality due to velo-insufficiency. I live alone and I have made great efforts to reduce my speaking to zero (because speaking might cause movements in the soft palate that could prematurely ripe the dissolvable sutures). I will keep you all updated on that in a few weeks.

avatar Dane

Me again (“Dane” from above) with a final update written on Day 9 of recovery from my UPPP surgery.

Since Day 5 the pain has gotten worse, gotten better, gotten worse, gotten better. I’ve been able to go whole days without a Percocet and I’ve had periods where swallowing is so uncomfortable that I’ll take 3 over the recommended 18 hours. Sometimes the pain comes from the tongue, sometimes the uvula, sometimes the roof of the mouth, and sometimes the ears (“referred pain” from a shared nerve). One of the difficulties of the surgery is the rocky road to recovery which seems to follow the pattern of two steps forward and one step back. It can get demoralizing to think that you are out of the woods only to have the pain return sharper than ever. I can also say that UPPP pain seems to get progressively worse for the first 9 days of recovery–so just prepare yourself, enjoy the respites when they do occur.

However, the pain needs to be put into perspective. The pain is actually not that strong and totally manageable with Percocet (for me, Percocet took away ALL pain after twenty minutes of taking the pills). At no point in the recovery did I cry, writhe on the floor, become despondent, or generally feel that the pain was unbearable. There were no prolonged periods of time when my pain was greater than a 6 at maximum (the worst was probably the wrist pain from having an IV in my wrist for 14 straight hours immediately after the surgery, before telling the staff to remove it). This is to say, although it is easy to get the impression from reading this blog that the UPPP surgery is living hell, the truth is that people mean very different things when they use the word pain. I can say from my personal experience that you should not worry too much about pain with this surgery. It is very manageable!

A couple more notes: I have experienced referred pain to the ears. There was a few instances in the first few days of the recovery where the referred pain was very dull but noticeable. However, this morning (Day 9) the referred pain was somewhat sharp and was one of the main reasons that I took a Percocet.

I have also experienced a swollen tongue that actually cracked down the middle and had a thick white coating and contributed to very bad breath. My doctor recommended brushing my tongue more and also said that the white coating was mostly due to dehydration (so, drink more).

I lost 11 pounds in 9 days due to not being able to comfortably chew. This is a significant weight loss for someone of my build. Not eating regularly also makes one tired, which also contributes to a sucky recovery. It’s just part of the process.

A word on results: I am VERY satisfied with the results so far. I have take 10-15 naps during the recovery and in NONE of them have I woken up with a headache afterwards. I wake up feeling rested and refreshed. This is an awesome feeling! The surgery appears to have worked for me, although I will withhold final judgment until the swelling in my throat has went down completely. Also, when I lay down on my back or side and try to completely relax my tongue, jaw, and soft palate, I notice that I a still able to breathe very easily (whereas before the surgery when I did these things the airway would become entirely blocked).

Finally, I want to highly that my doctor–Robson Capasso at the Stanford Sleep Clinic–is a great doctor. If there is any way you can have the surgery performed by him, you should try to do it. Dr Capasso strikes me as a problem solver. He is very aware of the latest sleep apnea research and is still actively contributing to the ongoing discovery (many older doctors, it is sad to say, no longer follow the latest research, which is a shame because sleep apnea medicine is evolving so rapidly). Personality wise, he strikes me as sort of an alpha male who is excited by challenges and has a very energetic personality. He has strikes me as very conservative in the way that he personally performs his UPPP (taking care to preserve the uvula, for example, which contributes so much to speaking and food chewing) I can say that my surgery went very well in terms of the way the throat tissues healed (very cleanly) and in the way that my new pharynx looks (very symmetrical and wide). I attribute this to entirely to Dr Capasso’s surgery technique and his care for details.

People who are considering the UPPP, please remember that YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. I advise you to take a little risk in undergoing the procedure (if you are good candidate) on the hopes that you will have a lifetime of restorative sleep. In the end, 10-15 days of recovery is a drop in the bucket compared to the potential benefits. If the UPPP doesn’t work, there are other procedures that, when combined the UPPP, have great success. These procedures are also not that painful, e.g., Radiofrequency tongue ablation and a septoplasty (for me, this surgery also had a surprisingly easy recovery). Sleep apnea is a serious problem and the CPAP is a cumbersome machine that, even when tolerated, does not necessarily improve everyone’s sleep (it’s a big myth in my opinion that CPAP is 100% effective). Take a chance and best of luck!

avatar Lyn

Ty so much for your post. I am scheduled to do my surgery tom and its 2 with septoplasty. Ive been doing research on the pain after the surgery and i must admit i got scared because all i read was bad and mostly intolerable pain after. Thank GOD i ended up . reading your post..now im a bit at ease..thanks

avatar Yoav

I think i am the only one here who went through UPPP and Tonsillectomy without having sleep apnea. I used to snore loudly and unobstructively and slept quite well. my wife did not sleep so good so i had the surgery for her (isn’t that romantic?). I am on day 6 now, living of chicken soup, Popsicles, shaved ice and yogurt. The worst time for me were the 12 hours between the surgery and the time when my doctor yelled at the nurses and the started giving me painkiller that is stronger than Tylenol. ever since then (pain level was around 12.5 in a 1-10 scale) the pain is oscillating between 2 (right after i take the Oxycontin pill) and 6 (5 minutes before that). Yesterday (Day 5) was painless, i di not take any medication apart from Tylenol and i thought i am off the hook, but this morning i felt like someone was shoving a hot knife into my throat while turning it constantly, so i am back on the stronger meds (i hate them because they make me drowsy)

My recommendation to anyone who plans to go through the surgery –
get a refrigerator with crushed ice functionality, or have some other means of supplying HUGE amounts of crushed ice. I open each morning with a mouthful, after which, eating drinking and most of all swallowing becomes much more bearable. Also, if you eat something too sweet or salty or sour or hot or hard or… you get the picture, then again, a mouthful of ice-chips will make life bearable again.

Thanks for this site, it has been quite helpful.

avatar Carol Stairiker

HI – I just had my uvula “trimmed” 6 days ago, due to a virus. Not for sleep apnea. Procedure was done on outpatient basis under Twilight anesthesia. Came through everything ok, mouth was sore, only had water and a little jello the first couple of days. Everything looks to be healing nicely, and I actually had a sandwich today. My issue/question is did you/anyone experience any tooth or jaw pain. I am having these flare-ups of excruciating pain in my teeth/jaw. Its the kinda of pain you get from eating something very cold, but its not just one tooth, but all my teeth at once. The pain brings me to tears and can last anywhere from 3- seconds to 3-4 minutes then subsides. It happens sporadically. It woke me from a sound sleep at 2:00 a.m this morning and it’s now 2:00 in the afternoon and nothing has happened. I’ve had about 7 of these episodes over the last 3 days and I’ve convinced myself it’s nerve related as I cannot pinpoint it to anything else. I’ve a follow-up with my ENT surgeon in 2 days, but was just curious if anyone else experienced this and if you did,did it go away?

avatar P King

UPPP, balloon sinuplasy, turbinate reduction, and deviated septum repaired as an outpatient. Six weeks post now. No more sleep apnea or CPAP. Feel better than I have in decades and can function well now on six hours of sleep. Before the procedures, I would sleep 9-10 hours and still feel exhausted in the morning. The UPPP wasn’t as painful as I expected. I stayed on schedule with the hydrocodone used tetracaine spray.

avatar theresa m

can i ask you because i just had this going on 3 weeks ago I still feel pauses in sleep and breathing.
When did you see results?


avatar Diane Kimmel

I had my Uvulopalatopharyngoplasy and lower jar advancement surgery on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Unfortunately, my blood pressure shot up during surgery and became a problem. I was in the hospital for two nights and scared to death. I though I was going to have a stroke or heart attack. Didn’t sleep at all the first night. Pain was manageable on IV drugs. I have lost 19 pounds and I am still unable to eat. Have tried, but pain is excruciating. My diet has consisted of ginger ale, pedialyte, ensure, and egg drop soup. I am on by second bottle of pain liquid. I would have thought by now, the pain would have been almost gone. It is worse in the morning when I wake up because my mouth is so dry. When were most of you able to eat? I need to lose weight, so that has not bothered me, but I don’t want to lose muscle along with fat. My energy level is low. I am sleeping much better and no longer wake up with headaches or like I have not slept at all. I am concerned with other articles that I have read, that the patient develops scar tissue and their airway is restricted more than before the surgery. My surgeon recommends having the jaw advancement too. That was fine with me since I have never had a chin. No pain from jaw just swelling. I read that you don’t have nerve endings in your jaw. I have also noticed that people I know that have sleep apnea don’t have much of a chin either. My husband and one of my best friends. Husband wears a cpap and friend wears an oral appliance. I wore one of these before having this surgery. It did not help as much as I needed it to. Hoping everyone does well and recovers fine.

avatar kevin

I had my UP3 with septum fixed, adenoids removed, and tongue adjustment (basically they cut a piece of rectangle bone from your chin and move it forward to reposition the back of your tongue) on 7-15-15. The first 6 days were some of the worst pain I had ever experienced. Lots of Lortab Elixir and Mouthwash with Lidocaine made it bearable.

I’m on day 7 now. Nose splints have been removed. Nose is doing great. My throat is marginally sore but the mouthwash and Lortab take care of that. Only big issue is that my lower jaw is still numb and slightly swollen. Apparently that was very evasive so it will take the longest to heal. I also have some coughing due to feeling the stitches in my throat.

If the worst has past, then my healing has seemed to be quicker than others. The mornings were extremely painful due to dry mouth, even with a humidifier, and eating before day 6 was impossible. Right now I feel like I could resume my normal activities but I will take the MD’s advice and keep resting.

avatar Diane

We had surgery one day apart. I had my tonsils and adenoids out as a teenager and deviated septum fixed in my early 20’s. UPPP and lower jaw advancement has been the worst. Now on day 12, throat pain is almost gone, but now my bottom teeth and chin are very sore. Wondering how long before all of this swelling will be gone.

avatar Lauren


I am scheduled to undergo the UPPP (modified as I have already had my tonsils and adenoids out as a child) and sliding genioplasty (modified version of the original where they take a smaller portion of the chin, slid it forward and then place a metal plate) on 12/22/2015. I am a 28 year old female, 5’5″ and 120 pounds. I have snored horrendously my entire life and finally had my second sleep study performed within the preceding 3-6 months documenting mild-moderate sleep apnea (first sleep study years ago showed snoring with absence of sleep apnea).

I was encouraged to hear that you’re recovery was not too unbearable after reading other individuals responses. Any additional recommendations would be much appreciated. Also, I was curious to hear if the surgery eliminated your snoring and/or sleep apnea?


avatar Brian

I had my UPPP surgery on 5/21/2015. The first six days I didnt feel any pain at all.( Guess it was the pain meds or that i can handle pain).Day 1 I was dizzy from the anesthesia but was able to go home the same day without any pain.Days 2-6 were beautiful,I ate ice cream, pasta, cereal,sandwiches with soft bread,noodles,sausages,eggs,etc. The key is to stay ahead on all of your medications. The liquid vicodin(Lortab), was my best friend. Another key to the surgery is being prepared. I got the cool air humidifier,comfortable pillows,stacked the fridge with soft foods, and took my meds every 4 hours even when not feeling any pain. Day 7 was tricky. My scab fell off on my right tonsil which caused some bleeding. Rinsing with cold water for like 20min made it stiop. It felt funny but no real pain( maybe like a 2 on the pain scale). Days 8-9 were fine, no complications. Then came Day 10 when my scab on my left tonsil came off and started bleeding rapidly non-stop. I went to the ER to make sure that it was nothing serious and they made the bleeding stop. Days 11-13 the pain got a little worse ( about a 5 on pain scale ) as it was difficult to swallow and eat, also had to get a refill of meds. Days 14-16 got a bit better. Then came Days 17-18 when the scab on my uvula came off and bled non-stop, off and on for about two days. I went to the ER again but by the time i got there the bleeding was under control. Then as i returned home from the ER and layed in my bled it started bleeding again. Go Figure . I finally got my throat cauterized and the bleeding stopped for good as well as the rest of the pain i was in.

Overall, the surgery wasn’t nearly as bad as i thought it was besides the few days when i was bleeding because of the scabs. Im now 7 weeks post UPPP and my throat healed well, my snoring is much better, and my stitches gone. Im only 28 and the reason i got the surgery was because my fiancee couldnt even sleep in the same room as me because of the snoring. Now its better. I would recommend this surgery to ppl who are having problems with CPAP and sleeping Appliances. I would do this surgery again, but thank God, I dont

avatar Julie B

My 20 year old son had a tonsillectomy, UPPP and a lateral uvoloplasty on Tuesday July 14th. Has not taken pain medes since being released from the hospital on the 15th, reason unknown! Has not have anything but water and a few gatorades since the night before surgery. He is now complaining of severe ear pain in his left ear. Has anyone else experienced ear pain after this surgery? Also how long can he go with no food?? I’m getting concerned and feel like maybe it’s time to call the doctor. Any suggestions are appreciated.

avatar Matt

I had my tonsils, adenoids, and my uvula removed. The uvula was only supposed to be shaved a little not completely removed. This was done the beginning of May 2015. It is now July 20th. The pain was unbearable. Before I had virtually no gag reflex but now my gag reflex is so prominent that just simple conversations will cause me to gag and just sitting around can cause it. I can’t brush my tounge anymore due to this either. Worst experience I have ever had would not recommend it to anyone. If I knew what I know now I would have told them to shove it. I spent four weeks only able to eat cup of noodles. Couldnt choke down more than one a day due to pain. Multipul trips to er due to pain meds not working. This has been a life changing surgery for the worse. Over horrible experience would not wish it on my worst enemy and would rather deal with kidney stones then ever go through this.

avatar Brandy

Thank you so much for the detailed review of the healing process. My husband is on day 14 of the same surgery and is oozing blood after seeing the ENT doctor today. He said he Dr, “shoved a pokey thing in his nose and popped something today.” Now he is oozing and is more grossed out about the slimy, oozy feeling he feels in his throat. I gave him more ice chips, salt water to gargle and left him to sleep. Or as he says, “suffer alone!” I hope tomorrow is better. His throat looks horribly painful.

avatar Ms Kristine

I am on my 34th hour post op UPPP. Still, in the hospital. I will probably go home in 12 hours. The key for me is defiantly staying ahead with the pain meds. Your body/pain will definitely wake you for your pain meds. I am still very worried about days 3 and four, which my doctor has told me is defiantly the worst.
I will check back in then. P.S. This Web site has been God sent!

avatar Ms Kristine

Today is day 4 and definitely the worst. I’ve been cheating a little on pain meds. Instead of every 4-6 hours I have been taken them every 3 1/2. Plus, I’ve been taking liquid baby Tylenol in between. It seems to be the only way to get through even drinking water.

avatar Ms Kristine

I thought day 4 was bad, but not even close to the pain on day 5! Definitely feel like there is something stuck on my throat! Still can not eat. Down 7 pounds in 5 days. Pain meds, ice chips and sleep is all I can handle at this time. I keep reminding myself that it will be worth it in the long run.

avatar Ms Kristine

Day 10 post op. Still in a lot of pain. Ran out of prescription pain med, so trying to make it until tomorrow when my pharmacy will get their shipment on. I have to say, I read this blog and several other informative pages and I felt like I was completely prepared for this surgery…not by a long shot! I would not recommend this surgery to anyone who has other options. My only reason was a had been sleeping with a CPAP machine for 7 years and was tired of it!

avatar Carly

Im 7 hours post UPPP surgery and boy is it sore!I have been having regular morphine and endone but once it wears off Im awake in terrible pain and scared to swollow any liquids.

Not looking forward to the increased pain that is coming on Day 4.

Hope this helps to reduce my snoring in the long run 🙂

avatar Tim

Hey guys, its not really that bad…really it aint… I had the works UPPP, base tongue reduction, tonsils and andoids, sepoplasty all in one go. I’m a man girl when it comes to pain and I even requested a Elma so I wouldn’t feel the needle for the anaesthetic!…
Prior to my surgery, I was freaking out reading all the pain that was about to bear on me… but after surgery, I dont know what the fuss was all about – overall it was a 7/10 for pain and I only had pain when swallowing… if i wasn’t swallowing, the pain was about 2/10. I had more pain stubbing my toe on the hospital bed than the surgery (you know what i mean).
Day 1 – surgery – no pain post waking up – just dizzy from morphine (in ICU)
Day 2 – in hospital … hard to eat … bit of pain only when swallowing (7/10)
Day 3 – in hospital (no more cannula meds)… hard to eat .. swallowing pain only (8/10)
Day 4 – in hospital … hard to eat … swallowing pain only (7.5/10)
Day 5 – home … hard to eat.. stitches in mouth annoying .. swallowing pain.. limited meds – panadeine forte and oxynorm – they make me dizzy (8/10)
Day 6 – getting a bit easier to eat.. stitches in mouth irritating swallowing pain.. limited meds – panadeine forte and oxynorm (7/10)
Day 7 – can eat with minor irritation… stopped all pain meds… stitches removed tomorrow – getting happy chappy (7/10)
Day 8 – Stitches removed – yay!!! can really eat now – KFC potato and gravy with a few bread roles to celebrate… downed 1 litre of orange juice in a few minutes. (5/10)
Day 9 – getting much better… McDonalds cheeseburgers washed down. (2/10)
Day 10 – onwards – can eat anything – life is normal – no pain.
Day 21 which is now…. healing well .. nose still tender, still notice a foreigness in the throat, but life is normal.

Overall, I basically had pain only when swallowing on days 2-7. The pain was about 7/10 when swallowing… and neutral when not swallowing. My worse day was about day 5 and 6. Once the stitches were removed (day 8) I was normal human man again. For those contemplating, just do it… if you read the internet forums on UPPP with all the associated pain comments, you’d be hesitant.. just remember everyones healing is different as well as the surgeons skills, tools and conservatism – mine only perform a Modified/Partial UPPP just shortening and not removing the uvula and leaving a conservative amount of soft palate.. he even made me stay in hospital for 4 days to ensure all was well prior to going home.. dont get a surgeon thats knife happy.
.. do it and you’ll recover in time (only a week or two) and you won’t regret… a week or two in your life will quickly be forgotten in the grand scheme of things… even if you are in a little pain or discomfort at the time

avatar Debby

sounds horrible but so does extreme snoring. I snored all my life weight did not matter. I am going to see my second md to get a referral. 1st Ent md said don’t do it. I wear cpap and I find it in my ears, hose disconnected, ect. I am just so over it. And quite frankly, I don’t sleep well with it at all. But my snoring stops with cpap. My issue is I am soooooo sick of Cpap. I do have a deviated septum and that has been since a kid. I am 58yr and in good health and feel before it gets far too ate just get er done. Pain, swallowing, nausea, and so forth ok I get it I am a nurse. but I have never had the opportunity to even sleep in the same room even on vacation because of this horrendous snoring. I was told my snoring disrupted the people on the same floor different rooms. I went thru sleep apnea test, it really was not bad but did point to anatomy-long palate, tonsils , deviated septum, and so forth. I also can say that I am always tired and waiting to sleep. My rt ventricle is enlarged also from this. So yep I am going, but sounds horrid. If it works I wont know how to act. I love waking up to cpap marks on my face,boy will I miss that. But if it has a lot of other problems that become extreme..yikes. I guess it is all a challenge/ mystery. Everyone Is different, and doctors are too. Let the prayers begin. Thanks for the listening. Deb

avatar Peggy

Thank-you so much for all the information and comments. It is really helpful in my recovery and knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I had a uvulalectomy and a lingual tonsillectomy on 28 April. My Doctor and his team are one of the best in the country. Dr. Weaver at Harborview in WA. He is an expert in the field of Sleep Apnea. His team prepared me well for the surgery and pain level to expect. Here is my experience so far:

Day 1: Surgery went and recovery went well. I was put in ICU for the night(my doctor’s precaution as he likes airways monitored). I was able to sip water, take pills and suck on ice chips. No luck with jello. My pain level was manageable with tylenol. I was given an oxycodine at one point but doin’t like the way they make me feel. Did throw up at one point. The worse part was the dry mouth from being so dehydrated. No matter how much I drank or sucked on ice it continued.

Day 2: Home. Dry mouth continues but seems better with humidifier. Tylenol keeps pain down but not enough be able to eat. I found pills easier to take than liquid which burns. Necessities: lip balm, humidifier and just plain water.

Day 3 -7. Pretty much the same. Rest keep pain at bay with tylenol. Able to eat popsicle, applesauce, soup and mashed potatoes. But hardly any. Still very difficult to eat anything. I’ve already dropped 20 pounds in 7 days. My appetite is coming back but still hurts to much to eat. I think the oxycodine would help the pain but I hate the way it makes me feel.

Overall, feeling frustrated at how long it is taking to feel better. It is only a week and the team was clear on how long and hard recovery is. The rest of me feels fine just my throat. I hope to start walking more in the next day or two.

avatar Angie W

Thank you to you, and everyone else who has posted. I am having a tonsillectomy and UP3 tomorrow, 5/8/15. Yep,I’m a little scared. I really am glad so many people have shared honestly on here about their experiences. No doctor is going to take the time to tell anyone all this. I am having this done, because of constant swelling in my throat for the last 6 months. It has gotten so bad, I wheeze through the small opening there, a lot of the time. There is a lot of mucus for some reason, and pain. My voice changes, and my ears hurt. Nothing my doctors have tried worked. I do have sleep apnea, and snore terribly, in any position, even sitting upright. I didn’t know there was a surgery for sleep apnea, until I started having this potentially life threatening tightening of my throat. It has cut off my airway completely several times. I have to wretch my head back and stick out my tongue. Lovely, I know. It has been scary. It has just gotten worse and worse. I am a bit worried about the recovery period, It sounds terrible and for much longer than the week and a half to two weeks my doctor told me.
Your post was very helpful. I just love this thread.
Thank you, Angie

avatar Angie W

I’m 7 days out from my UP3 with tonsils, adenoids, uvula, nasal , and carving of soft palate. Whew! This is wildly painful.I can breathe, and I’m not snoring though! I am having to stay on about a 5 hour dose schedule of he liquid narcotic pain meds. I do help it along with Tylenol. The last 2 days, have been almost intolerable if I talk a lot. I am having referred ear pain, that isn’t treatable, no matter how many meds I take. I have learned that I have a problem not talking. SO, uncontrollable ear pain is my punishment.Eating is still almost a no go. I can get down yogurt, puddings, prepackaged mashed sweet potatoes with extra butter and milk to thin them, lots of chicken broth, Carnation breakfast essentials for the protein. A good note is that I’ve lost 12 pounds in 7 days.I’m not hungry. Warm feels better than cold to me. I let cool foods come closer to room temp, and let my coffee and tea cool down. No spices or salts,no jello or fruit anything. I do not like having to stay on this narcotic pain med for this long. I really thought that I would need it for a few days, and be able to cut it way down after that. It does make me skittish.
Besides the pain,my only complaint is how congested I am. I do the sinus rinses 4 times a day, and have even awoke at night to do them. I still have a some bloody mucus come up and out. This was extreme the first few days. Turning my head in any direction is painful, especially when trying to speak. But, I’ve covered my failed attempts to keep it buttoned up. A few lessons, do not sneeze, hiccup,cry or vomit. These are very bad things.
Last night was excruciating,and my worst so far. I hear the next few days aren’t going to be much better, so wish me luck!

avatar Barbara broshears

I had sinus Roto rooter and a uvulalectomy three weeks ago. I have gone through a bottle of magic mouthwash all of my pain mess that my doctor gave me and right now I’m taking aleve with Tylenol. My throat and inside of my mouth and behind my cheeks hurt like none other. When I say none other I mean more than knee revision and open torn rotator cuff surgery. If this is normal I can hold out till I need too but I have to wonder. I am 68 so I know healing probably will be slower and like I said if this is normal I’ll handle it. I really do hurt and my tired of trying not too. Thoughts?

avatar Casey

Just got home from my sleep study 8 weeks out from uppp and tonsillectomy. Didn’t get woken up to put my CPAP on cause I didn’t qualify for it under insurance standards. I’m happy with that cause 4 years ago before my surgery they woke me within 2 hours to put me on a CPAP I was so bad. Surgery has me not snoring hardly at all and borderline on the CPAP. Will get my actual results from the doctor. Regardless my snoring and apnea hipopnea is way better and if I need my CPAP the pressure will be way less. This was the goal the whole time with no guarantee of being off of my CPAP.
Would do the surgery again for the results I have.

avatar jess

Had my UPPP and Tonsillectomy on the 18/2. Female, 26years.
I’ve had a fairly smooth recovery, here’s a quick rundown.
Straight after surgery in recovery was pretty unbearable, I don’t remember everything fully, but I know the times when I was conscious I was crying because of the pain (big sook I know). By the time I saw my family in my overnight room, whatever pain killers they had given me had taken affect and I was able to talk (with a little pain) my main problem was they wouldn’t let me drink any water- to me that was unbearable, but then they gave me some Endone (an aus version of OxyContin) and Panadol- which I swallowed myself mind you, and then I drifted in and out so the family left.
That night I slept most of the time, apart from being woken to check my vitals. At around 5am I woke because I desperately needed to pee, and the nurse told me I had to eat some ice of have a superdooper (icy pole), I managed to get that down, it took a while though. In the morning I was once again forced to eat, I was given bread without crusts and I also managed to get that down.
Once at home, the first 2 days I slept a lot and when I wasn’t sleeping I was just getting up to take Ibuprofen, Panadol and my antibiotics, and I had a couple of protein shakes in this time.
Day 3 after surgery was my first day of being conscious for a much longer period of time. I was able to eat- I ate lukewarm soup, cold noodles, and a protein shake. The mouth was pretty sore, and I couldn’t really talk, but no extra pain killers were taken.
Day 4 went pretty much the same.
Day 5 was a different story, woke up in immense pain, took my usual ibu,panadol,antibiotics but after around 2 hours I was still in intense pain so I took an Endone. That knocked me out again, upon waking I was able to eat some cool pasta. Had a look at the mouth/throat, was pretty gross but also very interesting.
Day 6 and 7- pretty much just a sore mouth and lack of energy, no talking, only one additional strong painkiller.
Day 8 and 9- mouth had started to feel a lot better by this stage, however in place of the sore swollen feeling, my mouth felt raw and everything including my own saliva make my mouth sting like I had eaten a chili. This was particularly annoying because I had my appetite back by this stage, but the sting in my mouth was almost unbarebale when eating. I drank a small amount of milk and swished it around in my mouth and that actually formed was felt like a thing coating over all the stinging nerves and allowed me some relief.
Day 10 onwards- mouth started reducing the stinging feeling, and in place of it my throat was the sorest part. To start with it was a little scratchy (scabs I assume) and then it just felt like I had a throat infection (which is what it feels like to this day). By this stage I was able to eat most foods (stayed away from really abrasive food like chips, and really hot food (temp))
Day 14- went back to work, all went well, mouth was sore after due to talking a lot more than I had in the 2 weeks recovery, apart from that everything was fine.
Day 15- woke up for work, and found a big puddle of blood on my bed/pillows and dry blood on my face an shirt. I had obviously bleed in my sleep- it was quite a significant amount. As it had stopped by the time I was awake I didn’t go to the ER, I went and saw my GP who said there was a fair amount of pus on the incision sites and wanted me to speak to the surgeon, who of course was out of the state (I found out when I called). He later called and told me to go straight to the ER, I didn’t and decided to just see how the next night went. I set myself hourly alarms to check for blood and everything was all good.
And here we are today. Back at work, everything seems decent, still swollen mostly where the uvula WAS, but on the sides, feels like there is flem sitting in the back of my throat that I can’t get rid of, hopefully this settles itself down.
I haven’t taken any ibuprofen or Panadol since day 9.
My observations:
-cold cold foods such as ice cream hurt like a mother******* in the mouth area, but feel great sliding down the throat
-drinking out of a straw made life a lot easier for me personally
-solid food was eaten the day after surgery, just made sure I chewed it a lot, and it was no more painful than soup or other liquids.
-I only took 2 Endone once I was out of hospital, I don’t know if that means I have a good pain tolerance or have had a good recovery
-for me Day 5/6 and 8/9 were the most painful
-yawning and sneezing stills hurts quite a lot
-almost 3 weeks post op my throat still feels like it’s ‘infected’ I’m hoping this is just part of the healing
-I’ve been told that I am not snoring anywhere near what I was (my sleep apnea was pretty severe- stopped breathing 120 per hour before surgery) I never used CPAP though, and I feel my quality of sleep has already improved
-I’ve got significant ear problems, so I’m not quite sure what pain I’ve felt in them is from the surgery and what is just part of me.
-I’ve tried to sleep with my pedestal fan on a couple of times, this hasn’t worked it makes my mouth VERY dry and uncomfortable
-I should have gone to the ER about my bleeding, but hey I didn’t and I’m still here.

Hopefully my experiences help others out 🙂

avatar Wayne

I had UPPP, Septoplasty, and Turbinectomy surgeries on March 9, 2015. My doctor told me that the recovery was going to be rough especially having all of these done at the same time. Rough was an understatement for the first week! I don’t really remember the day after surgery at all, but when I came to after all of the drugs were wearing off I felt the worst that I’ve ever felt in my life. I couldn’t breath through my nose due to splints being in place to keep it from collapsing on itself. I couldn’t swallow anything without severe pain and when I was able to swallow liquids it would come out my nose half the time.

In general the first week was terrible. I didn’t eat ANYTHING for at least the first 4 days. I haven’t slept more than 3 or 4 hours at a time since the surgery. I’ve lost at least 25 pounds from not eating or drinking. I weighed 285 prior to the surgery so I obviously could stand to lose a lot of weight. I had to start taking Xanax at night because I was dreading the pain that I knew came with trying to sleep and my throat drying out.

I’m currently on Day 8 of recovery and today was by far my best day in terms of pain. I was able to eat chicken soup and ice cream. I also was able to down several glasses of water which made my day.

I was wondering if anyone else was having a large increase of pain during the night? If so, why do you think the pain increased so much at night? What did you do to combat the pain? Also, how long did you sleep in an inclined state? I’m a stomach sleeper and can’t wait until I can return to my regular sleep position.

Also, for the people who are planning to have UPPP or similar surgeries I would say it has been worth it so far. My wife has told me that my snoring is 99% eliminated. And I use to snore something awful according to my wife. I’ll try to update this forum with a follow up to let everyone know how I’m sleeping a month from now.

This forum is awesome. Thank you everyone for sharing your UPPP experiences!

avatar Brian


Thanks for sharing. I had UPPP, tonsillectomy, and my deviated septum fixed on July 15th. The pain is severe at times, especially at night although the pain meds and steroids make it pretty bearable during the day. The biggest problem I have is food and liquid going into my nose. how long did that take to subside? I think it is all the swelling forcing things into the nasal cavity but I am not sure.

avatar Ron

Hi I was reading your post an was wondering how you are feeling now? Also did you have someone with you for a few days after the surgery?

I have a tonsillectomy and UPPP Friday May 1. I am taking two weeks off from work.

avatar Casey

I my UPPP and tonsillectomy was on February 3rd. In the Last few days my stitches completely dissolved. I can still feel some minor scabbing. Carbonated drinks are going down pretty good and my speech is normal. Did alot of taking liquid and small foods down the wrong pipe. Stayed on soup and easy to swallow foods for 3-4 weeks. I experienced a fair amount of retraining my throat even swallowing saliva in the 3-5 week period. Pretty good now though.

avatar Barbie

I am so glad you have recovered well. Week 5 for me and no more pain in my throat but still have swelling with my tongue which is still causing problems with my speech. Praying that it just needs to heal more.

avatar Jason Davis

Had my UP3 yesterday. Military, Air Force ENT (I am Navy in Gulfport, MS). Great doctor and did not leave nothing to the imagination about what to expect.

Meds: Oxycodone and Percocet every 5 hours. Only eating precaution: milk due to phlegm and spicy.

First day pain was terrible and did not eat anything. Just cold water, hot tea, and some apple juice. I biggest aggravation though is the saliva and phlegm. Just gathers at the back of the throat. Have to keep a bottle near by so I don’t have the pain of swallowing it.

Today, second day, was able to eat some applesauce and beef broth. Pain meds are pills btw, but able to get them down fairly easy. Supplementing with 800mg Motrin to help out. Pain comes and goes, had to limit my talking (with a 10 and 11 year old, easier said than done.) Pain is mostly from the where the uvula used to be.

I will try to update each day not that I found this. All in all, I think it will be worth it. I was diagnosed with OSA about 5 years and the CPAP was not working. Have not been able to keep it in once. So I asked for and got this. Going to stick with the cool foods and warm drinks for now.

avatar Barbie

I had UPPP surgery on 2/26/15. It has been 5 weeks and my speech is still very bad. The back of my tongue seems to swell and makes my speech sound like someone who is deaf. I have problems with pronunciation. I am really concerned that it is not going to get back to normal. Was wondering if you have any problems with speech? Or is there anyone on here that is further out in their recovery that also had trouble with their speech. How is it now after several weeks?

avatar Flash Gordon

I am not sure if this site was specially set up to let people that have had UP3 vent/share/comizzerate but what a god send it is.

I am on day 8 after having had my UP3 done on Feb 12th 2015 and I keep asking myself Was it worth it was it worth it was it worth it, I’ll get to that is a second.

My doctor kept trying to persuade me to not have this procedure (UPPP with Sinus and septum correction) and told me I was gonna hate him and told me I was going to be recovering for anywhere from 10 to 20 days and I kept saying you know what let’s just do this because I want to get back into the bed and stop snoring.

I’m still trying to figure out if it was worth it or not, jury is still out. Would I do it again absolutely not, right now am I glad that I did it, absolutely yes.

I have read all the posts and I have to tell you as you all know first hand it hurts to smile and it hurts to laugh. As I read each post I would have to hold my hand to my mouth to keep from smiling or outright laughing at some of the descriptions of the procedure or how anyone was feeling, only because that was me. Oh god the description of the Pinecone, the full twist, and the aluminum oxide, had me bursting inside because that was the perfect description…..I couldn’t have described it any better myself. Someone in one of the recent posts put it perfectly.. I am laughing with you not at you.

I specifically didn’t look or read about any of the information about this procedure because I didn’t want to know what was on the other side. I guess I should have. Some of the pictures are absolutely horrific, why would anybody want to have this done. When I looked in my own mouth it looked like an alien had taken over the back of my mouth.

As I said I am on day 8. The pain has gotten worse gotten better gotten worse gotten better again. You think your over the hump, eat something somewhat solid and one step back. I had cheddar and broccoli soup two days ago and it was the best soup I have ever had. Yogurt, protein shakes and soft white bread have become my friend.

The one thing my doctor did which I would highly recommend to anybody that is having this done, was he put me on steroids from the get go once I entered the hospital. Hudge dose intravenously before, during and after the surgery. Mind you I stayed in the hospital one night and I believe that was also one of the better decisions my Doc made for me. I am convinced the steroids is a big reason why the pain has not been worse then it could have been. My wife’s a nurse and she believes also that’s a big reason why the pain hasn’t been worse and the swelling hasn’t been nearly as bad as it could’ve been. That and God bless pain meds.

One thing I didn’t do was get a humidifier and after reading all of these posts first thing I’m going to get today and put right next Head on the nightstand is a humidifier . On a sidenote I also have a CPAP but good Lord I can’t imagine even of putting that on my nose and trying to use it and drying out my throat it would’ve been horrible. I did note I haven’t had to use the CPAP since leaving the hospital.

To everyone that has had this done hang in there there’s hope and to everyone who is thinking about doing this think long and hard because the recovery time is definitely at least 7 to 10 days if not more and it will be painful. God bless and keep the posts coming.

avatar Barbie

I had UP3 Surgery on February 16, 2015. Days 1-5 were alright, not much pain. Day 5-8 was terrible. The pain of pressure in my ears was terrible. I did use a humidifier in my room which I would not have known to get if I would not have found this forum the night before my surgery. Day 9 and on have been good. I feel improvement each day. However I can’t seem to swallow straight down the back of my throat. Everything seems to get caught back there and feels like a knot. If I chew small bites and swallow on the sides I do alright. My speech is very bad and I am really concerned with it. My p’s, and b’s are the worst. I also sound nasally. Is anyone else having problems like this? Would like to hear from others that are into the 3rd or 4th month of recovery and how they feel. I am so afraid that my speech is not going to be the same again. Any info is welcome. Thanks.

avatar Casey

Two weeks ago today I had my UPPP and tonsillectomy. I’m back at work with little to no advil usage. Sleeping good but still using a humidifier. Seems to help with a dry mouth. I am not using or needing my CPAP as of now. I couldn’t take a nap in a recliner without it before surgery. Still healing cause the stitches are still visible and I can feel scabbing. Hurts to yawn to big.
No regrets. No bad side effects. At some chips for the first time last night. No bread yet though.

avatar Casey

Including surgery this is day 9. I’m over the hump on pain. Still taking over the counter pain medicine. Eating soft foods and sleeping with a humidifier. Don’t want to talk a whole lot yet because my throat is stabbed and it throws your voice off. First day without sleeping during the day. Happier every day I had Uppp and tonsillectomy.

avatar Mary Toomey

I am now 3 weeks through my UPPP, tonsillectomy and base of tongue reduction. While there was pain for sure, recovery was better than I expected. I maxed out on the pain killers for the first week, including setting my alarm every 4 hours during the night to take the meds so as to stay ahead of the pain. I started to cut back week 2 and was off of them by week 3. My most painful days started day 5 and got worse until day 7-8. Everyone’s comments in this blog were super helpful in helping me to prepare for recovery – I too,recommend the humidifier, staying ahead of the pain, not talking and just resting. Still have stitches and swelling, so too early to determine success via another sleep study, but so far, I’m feeing good and snoring is pretty much gone. Would i do it again? Yes.

avatar Casey

6th full day after uppp and tonsillectomy. Still on the liquid vicaden every 4 hours and have even taken 400 MG of advil in between to help with pain and swelling. My pain at the end of this day is way better than this morning. Hoping I’m turning the corner. Still not eager for much talking. Rest is still a must. Thought for sure I would see work today but didn’t happen. Hoping to be back to advil and maybe Tylenol rotation tomorrow. Unless I still have apnea episodes without snoring I don’t know that I will have to get back on my CPAP. I’m not currently snoring.

avatar Casey

Start of Fifth full day after surgery. Right in line with what others have said. Pain is shooting to my ears. Had been on advil and Tylenol just went back to my liquid vicaden but in half doses.
Breathing is good. Only obstruction is the scabbing from healing and some swelling. No CPAP or desire for it so far. There was never any promises that I could completely get off of the CPAP but my pressure would be lower and my tonsillitis and strep wouldn’t be an issue. Not supposed to use it post surgery for healing.
I was very apprehensive to do this surgery but am happy with my results and would do it again. These are the rough pain days. Looking forward to tomorrow.

avatar Casey

Fourth full day after surgery. Pain not any worse so far. First time out of the house for a little bit but back to the couch within an hour. Using advil every six hours with Tylenol in between. No need to go back to liquid vicaden so far. Slept better last night but was snoring a little. I can feel my throat has the scabbing and some swelling causing my airway to be obstructed a little. Have lost about 8 pounds. Soups only for now. Mostly water cause sugar based drinks or food seem to burn. Making progress.

avatar Adam Richardson

I found this website prior to having my septoplasti, UPPP and turbinate reduction surgery — so I thought I was well prepared heading into it. Yes and no. I knew it was going to hurt like hell, but I am scared to death to swallow, the pain is horrible. I am now entering my 60th hour post-op, and need to take my codeine, but deed swallowing it. I am sucking on codeine lollipops and otter pops trying to numb the area so I can swallow. I thought I had a fairly high tolerance for pain (couple of tattoos and prior surgeries), but swallowing brings this 40-year-old man to his knees in pain. And from what I am reading, days 4-5 are the worst. I will update soon.

avatar Adam Richardson

Morning of day five. Up and down day. Felt better to start the day, but then dehydration began to set in. Began feeling very week and having the sweats. Good news was that I totally forgot about my throat pain with the all-over body aches and was ably to down a liquid diet and some powered for electrolytes. Not sure I would have done the surgery if I knew it was going to be half this bad. Head back to Dr today for follow-up, hope to remove any lingering junk from my nose. Ugh.

avatar Casey

Friday 2/6/15. Start of third full day out of surgery. Pain has not gotten worse than my post from Wednesday 2/4-15. Staying hydrated with water and multiple different soups from family and friends. Keeping a humidifier running 24/7 where I am sleeping. Still taking my prescribed dose of liquid vicadin every 4 hours and will determine tomorrow if I can start interveaning with advil. Taking a stool softener due to the liquid vicodin. Also taking my amoxicilan 3 times per day as prescribed.

Have no doubts about having the surgery done due to my extreme apnea hypopnea case. I am not snoring and am getting better sleep each night. Not great though. It is 9:45 am and I’m ready to sleep after waking up at 6:30. A dry throat is my biggest fear and I have managed to keep that at bay. Forcing myself to drink water. Learing how to swallow again has been a challenge but is much better today. Have had liquids go down my windpipe causing me to cough it back up but it didn’t cause huge pain. Gatorade or dairy products cause to much flem in my throat so I have avoided them. I have drank a couple of protein shakes but that is something I have for breakfast every morning.

Uppp and tonsilectimy was plenty for me to do at once. David your recent surgery seems to be alot but I didn’t require all of that. Maybe better to deal with the pain all at once.

Good Luck

avatar Adam Richardson

It has been 8 days since my surgery and I must say I am a million times better – not not near 100 percent either. Still no real food as of yet, mainly scrambled eggs, protein shakes and Powerade with electrolyte boost. Swallowing pain varies throughout the day, up and down. I think keeping talking at a minimum has helped me a lot. The worst part was getting dehydrated prey bd by day 4. Hurts like hell to swallow, but you have to get liquids down. Having all three at once, UPPP, Septoplasy and turbinate reduction, there were days there I thought I was going to suffocate to death. I had to switch pain medicine, the original Hydrocodone was making be feel weird and semi-paranoid. I have had nothing for pain for over 12 hours and do not really see a need to take anything more unless something happens. I am just trying to baby the scabs in my throat so they come off naturally and I can eat again.

This has been a awesome resource for this procedure, offering both times of laughter and wonder as to why I even did this to begin with. Just have to focus on the long term.

avatar Mike Nike

I can’t believe that had you do your throat and nose together in one operation. I had mine done separate. I would have killed my doctor if he had done that to me.

avatar Casey

Just had Uppp and tonsillectomy surgery yesterday 2-3-15. Spent the night in the hospital as this is standard procedure for my doc. I was nervous about this surgery because I am a model CPAP user. I average 8 hours a night with it. I got my CPAP in April of 2011. Had an oxygen level of 80, should be upper 90’sand my apnea hipopnea episodes were 67 times per hour for 22 seconds each.
My case was fairly extreme. I am male. I was 35 when I got my CPAP and am still 6′-1″ and fluctuate between 215 and 225. As soon as I woke up from surgery I could breathe better out of my nose and mouth. Using liquid vicaden for pain every four hours. Going pretty well so far but I am staying on top of my meds. Am also taking amoxicilan due to risk of infection.
I did this to be able to nap or read to our kids at night and not have to use my CPAP.
I may not have gone through the surgery if I hadn’t seen this site. Only side affects are pain. Hurts to swallow so I get some down my windpipe if I try to take too big of a drink. Am not supposed to use my CPAP for Six weeks. Took and nap today and didn’t wake up choking. I’ll find out tonight from my family if I’m snoring. I went into this with no guarantee to get off of the cap just looking for a lower pressure and eliminate sore throats and tonsillitis. I had strep before Christmas and it was twice as bad as my pain is now.
I will try to update days 2-5

avatar Rebecca Finley

This is a very knowledgeable forum. I appreciate the scientific evaluations and clear terms for procedures and meds and results. Keep them coming for those of us who are bystanders to loved ones who have chosen this procedure to help them.

avatar David D

Had my surgery done on Tues. Dec 30th. Had UPPP, Turbinate Reduction and Balloon Sinuplasty. (haven’t seen this combo yet). I have just came off of Day 9. I’ve been cracking up all through the posts. Read them all. There really is comfort in numbers. Not laughing at you just with you all because this is not fun. But you know what they say better to laugh…. So the general was the best part as it went down hill from there. I remember talking about a movie with the nurse then waking up to my wife asking me if I was ok. Apparently they had already got me in a wheel chair. Yes they sent me home right afterwards. I never saw the Doctor as I was out prior to him coming in and leaving. Very strange. My wife said she spoke with him. He baiscally said I could eat as I was able to tolerate food. I got an antibotic, some other pills, still not sure what they were, as I had to take a lot the first day then a decreasing amount as time went on. Then I got the Codine. I only used the codine a few time early on then when the day 3-4 pain kicked I used it maybe once or twice daily. I was not able to breath from my nose the first 3 days so I felt that my throat was on fire from taking in the air and drying out. I tried sleeping without my CPAP the first night but my wife said I was snooring loudly which actually really hurt my throat. I have tried sleeping a few times without it in later days as my nose breathing cleared up, but really not seeing good sleep yet. Actually day 1 and 2 were not that bad. But I believe I have a high tolerance for pain as I did stick with soup and liquids the first day. But on New Years I chocked down some really good ham my Wife made along with some other fair. I must have hit it right with the meds because the pain, although bad, was bearable. Then day 3 and 4 kicked in with what I thought was a “What was I thinking for eating regular food” pain which felt like strep on steriods. Now on to day 5 and 6 I was in enough pain that I was seriously considering calling the Doc on Monday. But I held off. Day 7 seemed to be a bit better but the the pain seemed to flair up again on days 8 through now going on day 10. I have noticed that on Day 8 and 9 the White scab was starting to go away. Probably ate it and did not realize it. Last night I was eating an omelate mostly of egg and cheese, but when I tried to eat the refried beans and diced potaotes I nearly went throuh the roof. The pain in the back of my throat resinated throuh out my tongue, ears and teeth. Im hoping that day 10 will start to give me more relief. From what Ive read here, it seems My pain was somewhere in the middle to lower than some. But again I seem to have a high tolerance. I have noticed frequent headaches and the OTC meds Im taking, while at work, do not seem to help either the headache or the UPPP pain much. I will try the humidifier when I get home. I feel like some of the folks here that there is something hanging down in my throat resting on my tongue. Hopefully that goes away. I am happy with the fact I do not need Afrin to breath. I stopped. But that was the same the last time I had the balloon sinuplasty about 2.5 years ago. I was the 5% that needed it redone. Im really hoping I can get off the CPAP. I will be asking for a sleep study to determine if it is needed. Hopefully not or all this pain will have been for not. Since I am in Day 10, I have not realized the UPPP benefit yet. I can definatley recommend the other two. I will update as I progress. Smooth recoveries to all!

avatar Furat

Hi everyone!

Day 6 post UPPP and tongue base procedure. Not helped by open nose rasping plus septoplasty revision. The stitches and scabs mean I have to breathe through the mouth.

Today is the first day that I waa able to sleep properly.
Day 1: water, ice cream, milk. Meds: antibiotics, clarinase and one other little pill. Twice a day.

Day Two: milk, water. Very dry mouth and lips. Heavy use of lip balm and mouth lubricant spray. Usual meds.

Day three: added soup to the mix.

Day four: orange juice (bad idea) and more soup.

Day five: made and had macaroni cheese. Ate a few mouthfuls. Then started experiencing pain on swallowing. Hot water bottle and half an hour in bed, three or four times a day.

Day six: had some cheese and bread. I’ll stick with my favourite strawberry and banana smoothie from now on.

Lost about seven pounds in a week. Don’t feel too strong but I haven’t been able to get out much.

All my meds are done and I’m relying on over the counter regular strength pills from now on.

Will start using the humidifier tomorrow.
I didn’t expect this much pain. It’s not constant and I’ve been able to do a lot of reading and video games. When the ear/jaw starts up though it’s straight to bed. I’ve been keeping strange hours.

I can put up with smoothies and milkshakes for another month if I have to as long as I can avoid setting off the swallowing trigger for the ear.

Feel like saying I wouldn’t do this again but sleep apnea has given me no choice. I fell asleep at the wheel two years ago and that’s when I started getting worried about my chronic tiredness and comedic ability to go to sleep on command.

avatar Cupcake120

I had my uppp surgery done on the morning in December 10th along with septum fixed, and a few other things done to my nose to help breathing….can’t remember the technically names for them. So I had read a lot of this surgery beforehand and thought I was completely ready to get this over with…..OMG I can’t believe the pain so far. I literally wanted to die the first 2 nights.. Yesterday was a bit better but when I woke up this morning I felt like I took a step back. I think it’s my sleeping that makes the first 2 hours awake so painfully, since I can’t breathe out of my nose my poor throat is taking on all the pain.. I have no idea what to expect now, even after reading everything, because I just feel like this misery is never going to go away….
I pray that others going through this are in a better place & that we all heal very soon!!! I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

avatar Kevin knight

Hello Im day 7 of having Uppp done think I’m doing very well still learning what is good and and to eat or drink but most part I got it down how long have u had the surgery done and what is ur outcome from this now thanks

avatar Craig Watt

Hello, what a great help this site has been. I had UP3 performed 8 days ago and this site has been a wonderful. Is there a good place to search for long range results? Thanks,(doesn’t seem like enough) Craig Watt

avatar Bryan Saxon

I had my UPPP and septum/turbinate surgery on August 18th. I will be completely honest, if I had known how bad it would hurt I probably would not have done it. I hope it is well worth it in the end. The first day was the worst for me. Immediately upon waking from surgery I was in agony. The nurses were freaking me out because they were sounding scared because the pain medications were not working and my heart rate was ridiculously fast. I guess I passed back out because I woke up in a room. Stayed on morphine all night and they let me go home around 10am the next day. From Tuesday until about Friday it was pretty bad, but gradually getting much better each day. Saturday was my turning point, day six and I woke up feeling great(ish), most likely due to finally having purchased a humidifier the night before (HIGHLY recommend using one, nothing worse than having your throat dry out). I ate some bread for the first time and was pretty good to go. Sunday-Tuesday was kinda crappy, still had sharp pain. Im now on day 14 and feel much much better. I have lost 25lbs over the last two weeks, not the way I would want to, but I’m OK with it. Ive eaten nothing but smoothies, grits, oatmeal and pudding this whole time, with some bread here and there. I started reading up on other’s experiences, and I must say, it makes me feel a lot better knowing that I’m not alone, so I figured the least I could do is post my experience as well. I didnt have a sudden extreme pain day like a lot of people seem to have, I went from really bad to a little better every day. My biggest issues right now are that my gag reflex keeps getting set off, this induces extremely painful dry heaves and eating solid foods. The gag reflex I can tell must be due to scabbing and possibly stitches when my throat gets a little too dry. My issue with solid foods isnt pain, its this odd sensation I get when I eat them, like they are hitting the back of my throat, but (hate to sound gross) its like there is mucus back there. Food texture alone can make me not want to eat it, but this gives me a whole new level of queasy. There also seems to be a bitter taste coming from back there, I hate it, I want to eat so bad, but it makes me sick to the stomach when I eat something and it feels like it does when I swallow. Has anyone else felt this sensation when swallowing? Let me know, I swear if this is a lasting side effect, Im done eating, smoothies and IVs only.

avatar Max Malzkuhn

I read through the comments on here before having my UPPP surgery. Still haven’t decided if that was a good thing or not.
Surgery went fine and per normal, I was miserable in the hospital. Every kind of narcotic they gave me made me sick. Basically by day 2 when I went home I had decided I wasn’t going to use any of the huge bottle of norco I had gotten from the pharmacy pre-surgery.
I am now 9 days after surgery and have only had ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain. I must be one of the lucky ones, because it hasn’t been that bad. I have been working from home (one of the benefits of not using any narcotics, I guess), and look forward to going back to work soon. I don’t sleep great yet, still getting congested from whatever he did to my sinuses (microwaved them or something) but everything else is good. I can eat soft stuff pretty well and have lost 10 – 12 pounds or so in the last week. So just wanted to put out there that it isn’t always terrible. Good luck to all who have had/are going to have this surgery. May we sleep through the night!

avatar Tammi

Thank your lucky stars you do not have Kaiser. They send you home same day with no liquidating killers. Pill form only. It’s insane. Ended up back in the er that night from bleeding. They gave me iv and sent me back home with liquid dilodid for 2 days. Day five really sucks. Ear pain and incredible throat pain. Been coughing all day.

avatar Matt

Hey everyone. This has been a great read and I, as opposed to most, wished I had read it prior to surgery.
I had my nose and UPPP done separately. I wondered what all the fuss was about with the nose as I had a dream run but I have well and truly been put back in my box with the throat.
I am now on day 7. The first 24 hrs were horrible, i found out that all the hospital were giving me was paracetamol and i was wondering why all the pain was so high. My Doctor saw me the next day and saw that on my chart and went off at the poor nurses.
Days 2-5 were a very high pain level, this could due to me not being regular enough with the meds. Both of the strong ones have Codene which has blocked me up a treat. Having learnt this from my nose I started the Lax straight away, some 6 days and 17 tablets later I exploded haha. This was not as bad as with the nose as my food intake has dropped dramatically.
Night 5 i had a few hours of fun on the PS4 with some mates and the pain was only a 2 so I tested the voice box out a bit and 2 nights later I am still paying for that mistake. I then read this page, went down and got a humidifier (has been great). I know that I am sleeping deeper already, breathing better and am sure this will all be worth while.
I am being far more regular with the meds now, taking on time even if there is not a high level of pain.
I tried scrambled gooey eggs tonight but for me it was too early, the first bites were fantastic but it all got too much, back to the jelly.
Reading some of your experiences I doubt I am going to be ready for work in 5 days like I am meant to be. I work in a highly vocal and sometimes contact workplace.
Thank you every one for sharing, It has helped me greatly.

avatar DeAndre

Two weeks out and the surgery has been a game changer for me. Severe sleep apnea has disappeared and now I actually know what it’s like to get a good night’s sleep. My only recommendation is to make sure you stay ahead of the pain medication. The backup of fluids in the nose seems to be a common side-effect. I thank everyone who posted to this forum – It helped me going into my surgery August 1st, 2014.

avatar diane bruniges

Hi I had UPPP, tongue chaneling and my turbinates coblated. I am on day 5, I have been in pain for the past 5 days but its been barable with meds. However right now I am in severe pain, tongue throat ears even my teeth hurt. How long can I expect this pain to go on.Thanks in advance Di x

avatar Marlo

I had my uppp, tonsils remove, deviated septum fixed, & my turbinate’s shaved all on the say day! I am on day 11 and still only able to get down creamy mashed potatoes, coconut water, Gatorade, & water. My pain level without taking my Tylenol w/codeine every 4hrs is at a 4 but with meds a 2.
The pain is tolerable because I actually have been able to sleep better now that I can breath, which I thought I was able to do without problems, but the stress of not sleeping well during the night and not functioning like ME finally took its toll. Glad I had the sleep apnea test done and the surgery.
I am looking forward to being all healed up and back to normal.

Anyone going thru any of this………. the outcome is much greater then the pain you will feel!!

avatar Batya

This was hilarious and just what I needed to hear. I had my surgery August 4, 2014. I am on day 5 of recovery and this was the first day I left the house. I had a horrible reaction to the pain meds in the hospital and they had to find ones that worked for me. Unfortunately my meds are not liquid. Mine are pills that have to get ground up. I am not a fan. It has ruined apple sauce for me for life.

This hands down has been one of the worst things I have ever been through. I appreciate that you made this post about your recovery through the first 4 days.

To everyone who is recovering like I am…..stay strong everyone.

avatar Batya

I forgot to add before…..

I can smell everything! It is so weird that my sense of smell (which I always thought I had before) is in full force. I also have had quite a few liquids come up into my nose…..I am not a huge fan of that. It is disconcerting.

I am hoping that these scabs come off while I am asleep or something. I drink water every 5 minutes while I am awake. I am doing everything I can to avoid the scratchy throat. It is painful to talk though.

avatar sarah

my husband just had this surgery yesterday. he keeps feeling like his throat is more swollen than it should be. the drs and nurses all checked and said he has normal swelling and his breathing while not what he is used to yet is fine and on track for post op. anyone else feel this? so i can set his mind at ease and he can sleep.

avatar Michele Plogh

Sarah, I had my surgery July 16 and went to a friends house that night so as not to stay in the hospital. I did not notice that my throat was swelling but felt my tongue was swelling every time I ate something or took the liquid Vicadin. It got so bad I called I called the doctor’s office and they ordered a prescription prednisolone. That helped a lot.

avatar diane bruniges

OH MY GOODNESS is all I can say, I am due to have surgury 20 aug 2014 I thought I was only having tongue channeling and nasel tubinoplasty when I have just looked at my paper work earlier today I saw the word Uvuloplasty ithought I better check to see what that is, well what a nightmare. The doctor did not mention all this. Its Monday evening and I have surgury on wednesday. I am thinking of cancelling, as I can not get onto surgeon. I am a mess. I am finding hard to find any positives, and the thought of having a tracy thing put into my throat is unbearable.Thank you all for your honesty though. x

avatar Claire Pena

Oh my gosh, I can’t thank you enough for this site!!!

I had my surgery on June 30th and I am so blessed to say that this site has helped me with my recovery so much!! I just has my follow up with my ENT last Monday and he said everything looks great. He was surprised that I was all smiles when I walked into his office. I have to say that I didn’t have many complications.

Because of this site, I knew what to expect and was able to manage it. I was able to be very well prepared going in and then prepared for the recovery stages. I took my meds on an hourly basis (every 6 hours) rather than ‘as needed’. My pain was not unmanageable. I did not experience the terrible pain that I read other have experienced. My doc said I was an unusual case, but I know I am a wimp when it comes to pain. I think this site just helped me to be better prepared.

It is now day 11. I have some pain in the mornings – then as I manage the meds – I have very little pain during the day. I am starting to eat solid foods now and drinking water throughout the day is a big plus!!

The great news is that I can breathe!!! WOOHOO!! I have so much more energy. I sleep throughout the night and wake refreshed!! I am still snoring, but doc says that’s due to swelling and should go away once the swelling goes down. I no longer yawn all day long!

I think this surgery may have prolonged my life. Before, I had a hard time keep up with others on hikes, I never had a restful sleep, I yawned all day long, I was always tired, I just wanted to sleep all day and could never get enough sleep. I am not super heavy, but I had been progressively gaining some weight.

Today, (only 11 days after) I sleep awesome, I dream, I no longer move all over when I sleep, I can wake refreshed, I can hike the mountain trails with my friends and not be exhausted, I don’t yawn in the middle of conversations, I have energy and I feel awesome!!

Would I do it again? In a heart beat!!!

avatar Tim Frazier

Thank you for this wonderful comment, Claire. I love it when these old posts make even a little positive difference in someone’s experience. Wishing you continued success in your recovery.

avatar Craig

Hi there,
I’m on day 3 of recovery from UPPP, tongue reduction and tonsil removing. I’ve already had 2 nasal surgeries for my apnoea. They helped but the snoring returned so I bit the bullet and got the throat done.

Yep, the pain is pretty amazing. First 2 days could only take water and oxy liquid. Day 3 is much better. I ate custard!

Going home tonight. Will check back in and tell you how I go. I can tell this is going to improve my life already, my smell is better and my throat feels so wide! Hard to swallow of course but breathing through my nose feels amazing.

I’m very positive about the outcome of this surgery.

avatar Douglas

I’m a 41 year old man, 6’3″ 230lb with severe sleep apnea (33 times per hour) that simply could not hack a CPAP. So it was surgery or worsening blood pressure and health and likely an earlier than normal demise. Given that scenario it was an easy decision for me even knowing what lied ahead…

So I’m now 36 hours post op. Had a UPPP, tonsillectomy, tongue reduction at the base, as well as my second septoplasty and third turbinate reduction. I was given something the doctor told me was just going to “relax me”, next thing I’m waking up in the post op recovery (expected him to inform me the real deal was coming like other’s have in the past).

At first I was relieved I had awakened and felt relatively decent given the large amount of trauma just done to my throat area. That quickly subsided however as I realized I was getting sick as the wheeled me down the hall to my room…something about the lights passing overhead and remnant amounts of blood in my stomach produced a brief up chuck that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be considering that fluid was coming back out over a very sensitive area. It was over and done with before I knew it (and in one of those handy bags to boot).

I am dealing with not only the recovery on my palate and throat area but also my nose which has been quite congested with blood and mucous. This has made it doubly difficult to sleep–no more than a cumulative hour since the surgery ended at 3:45PM yesterday. Nonetheless, the Doc came by and said he was very pleased with how I looked and sounded and sent me home.

So today has definitely been worse than yesterday as far as tongue pain when swallowing. And I have been loathe to take the opioid pain medicine at full strength because it just makes me sleepy, yet because of post-nasal drip and congestion I cannot sleep anyway. So far I’ve been eating lots of ice chips (Sonic for the win) and two cups of chicken broth only. I know this all sounds horrible but I also know that I didn’t really have other options so it’s made it quite bearable. Plus I know that each day that passes is another day close to happy sleep and potentially a healthier existence. I’ll try to follow up as the process unfolds.

avatar Dustin Hess

I’ve not slept since I was 10 years old. Had a septoplasty back in 1977,(two weeks before the prom) then broke my nose several times afterward. I am scheduled for another nose reaming and a throat trim on 5.12 because 02 and CPAP can’t drag my nighttime oximetry numbers out of the 80’s. I’m 6’1″, 175, athletic and post high numbers on the treadmill, my ENT is very optimistic about a positive outcome. The majority of these posts are scaring the heck out of me! I’ve been shot, stabbed, thrown off a train, pushed off a plane(fractured a talus), bit by snakes, bats, gators and a rabid dog, and close to death more times than I care to recall, so to self inflict the kind of pain described seems very negative. Thinking seriously about canceling the procedures and living with the consequences. Probably won’t, cause I keep reading and hearing about this “sleep” thing and want to check it out. The closest thing I think I’ve experienced is going under anesthesia.

avatar Jewel

Dustin I had my UPPP surgery on Monday, May 12 so now on day three of recovery. I am not going to lie it is painful, but bearable with meds. Right now jello, ice cream, broth, and pudding are my bestfriends. I take one to two percocets every 4-5 hours, crushing into something. The back of my mouth is sore and raw but its not killing me. I can already feel a difference in my breathing, better. Would I repeat this surgery hmmm, not sure. Do I regret it no. I have have several major back surgeries that hurt more than this and I got through it. Keep ice chips with you as much as possible. Everyone has a different level of pain tolerance don’t let that stop you if you truly need this.

avatar Diane

My husband is having this surgery next week and this site has been HUGE help. I feel much better prepared to help him through the pain of the next few weeks. Thanks so much to the original author and all the commenters, I appreciate all the info!

avatar Guy

I am on Day 14 following UPP surgery. It’s been a rough road but I am nearing the end of it.

Days 2 & 3 post-op were bad (fever, headache, burning throat, inability to swallow). Relied on Percocet (1.5x dose every 4 hours) those days to make it through.

Days 4-5 post-op remained difficult (more headaches, some fever, sore throat, very sore tongue). Was able to sip water & Gatorade from a small spoon. Ate small amounts of yogurt, pudding and soft scrambled eggs with the same small spoon. Percocet every 4 hours was a God-send.

Days 6-8 post-op were still painful but a little more manageable. Headaches went away but eating and drinking remained extremely painful, though I learned to attempt them while the Percocet was working at its peak. Discovered the joy of French toast softened with butter and syrup. Heaven.

Days 9-11 were as bad as Days 2-3 but with more excruciating throat pain, especially in the morning after a night of sleeping with my mouth open. I heard this is the time when scabs are falling off.

Days 12-13 were like the storm breaking. Suddenly I only felt a flu-like sore throat and my appetite was back. I actually managed to eat pasta, stew and sloppy Joes. I was able to go 6 hours between doses of Percocet.

I am now on Day 14 and can see this finally being over. I have to say it was a success because my girlfriend says she hears almost NO sound of my breathing at night (she said my snoring used to rattle the bed posts).

Suggestion: Take your pain meds! Up the dose if necessary or sneak a dose a little early. It’s gonna be a rough ride so make it as comfortable as you can ‘till the end.

avatar Jewel

Paul thanks for the info. I am at day three. My biggest thing is that my tongue feels like I have cuts all on the outside but bearable.I now know what to expect as the days go by.

avatar Guy

Update, 1 month post-op:

I’m noticing a lingering (perhaps permanent?) side effect: I can no longer do big gulps of liquids without them backing up into my nose. I have to take smaller sips and direct the liquid carefully down my throat with my tongue. No more guzzling Gatorade after a hard workout! I also have to eat rice and similar grainy foods more carefully. Little particles sometimes suck back into my nose if I’m not careful.

Bottom line: Would I go through that awful, post-op recovery again? Yes. Simple reason: my snoring has disappeared, so says my girlfriend who had to put up with it for years. I don’t mind relearning how to drink and swallow food as long as the primary mission to stop/reduce snoring is accomplished. As far as we’re concerned, it has been. Good luck on your mission.

avatar Paul

I am In day four of recovery after UPPP and septum repair. I am so glad that I didn’t consult this blog prior to surgery. Doubt I would of continued. Thankfully my experience has been much less painful than most. I definitely felt better this morning and other than a hugely sore throat have never felt bad. Staying ahead of the throat pain with liquid hydrocidone every four hours has been one of the keys. I also have been eating soft solid food since day two and that I’m sure has helped the healing. I’ll update my progress later but I plan to return to work after only missing
Three days.

avatar Anne Liebenthal

Hey, thanks for this. I’ve been planning and saving for this surgery for years, and am scheduled for March 21, right before my spring break. (I’m a teacher.)

I had hoped to return to work after break, but now will prepare detailed lesson plans for a couple of weeks afterwards. Were this site not here, I’d have been unprepared professionally, emotionally, and supply-wise. My doctor did mention it would really hurt, one time, but now I know that wishing I were dead will be typical. Also, I know to have more of a support system than I had previously planned.

It can’t be the funnest thing in the world to maintain something that brings to mind searing pain. Thanks. This will make a world of difference. I was WAY under-prepared in every imaginable way.

avatar David

I just had UPPP surgery on the 7th of February 2014. I also had my septum fixed. So right now I’m in day 4 of recovery. My ENT said it would take 10 days before things got back to normal. At first I didn’t believe him because on the second day I was feeling pretty good….especially once they removed the two cotton golf balls they shoved up my nose (I felt like Schwarzenegger in Total Recall when he’s removing the tracking bug from his body). Being able to breath normal’ish was such a huge relief. Truth be told, if I had to do it again (thank god I won’t have to), I probably would have split the two surgeries – UPPP and the fixing the deviated septum. Coming out of theatre, I have never been more uncomfortable in my entire life. I couldn’t really breathe out of my mouth because of the UPPP and I couldn’t breathe out of my nose at all. It was like a slow suffocation.

I did end up vomiting twice after the operation which was not very pleasant. It was all black and the nurse said it was just from all the blood I swallowed during the op….which I though kind of weird as I would have assumed there would have been some sort of suction to stop me ingesting it. There was about a litre all up. It hurt after I initially vomited, but one the nausea when, I felt so much better.

The third day has so far been the worse in terms of pain. It still feels like I’m swallowing razor blades and I’m still getting blood and mucus from my nose. But I have started to get my meds in order and knowing what to take, when, makes a big difference. The only “solid” I’ve had so far is some cold watermelon. I’ve realised I have to stay away from dairy as it just creates more mucus and it’s hard to sleep. And the battery acid that supposedly is a quick-fire pain relief needs to be taken before it gets too painful. I’ve been diluting my mouth wash and liquid pain-relief (OxyNorm) and it does seem to help with the burning.

I’m just glad I never came across this site before my op otherwise I may have decided not to go through the whole thing. 😛 But misery does love company and I take some solace in the fact that other people are as miserable or have been as miserable as I’ve been. Lol Best of luck to all those still recovering. I hope it’s a quick recovery for all of us. 🙂

avatar Tim Frazier

Godspeed on your recovery, David. I’ve been wishing I’d had my deviated septum fixed at the same time. To date I haven’t gotten it done. I’ve learned to absolutely dread surgery. Last April I had a multiple lumbar lamenectomy fusion done due to a fractured vertebrae. Finally feel like I’m fully recovered from that and it was painful, but still not as painful as the UPPP.

Sorry I took so long to approve your post. My real job has been interfering with my blog activities!

avatar Jewel

Tim I also had lumbar fusion L5/S1 last year this time and I think these two run neck and neck with pain. Since it helped I would do it over again. I am already breathing and sleeping better at day 4 but wish tongue pain would go away. Everything that goes in is with a spoon or straw very slowly.

avatar Bec cheers

Also I’m unable to drink through straws doesn’t matter if short or long straw it pulls my tongue n neck too much which I never realised.amazing how much we take for granted. The pink viscous stuff I’m unable to swallow am lucky to be able to gargle it.

avatar LA

Worst… pain…ever. I am one week out of the surgery and still have to take heavy pain meds (oxycontin and oxycodone)or be in unending agony. Can’t even drink cold no sodium broth without agonizing pain. I have refused to eat anything these past here days due to the amount of pain sipping a room temperature glass of water causes. I am either in a narcotic fog from the medication or about to roll into the fetal position because of the pain. The kicker is I have no idea when it will let up! it has not gotten better in seven days! I advised my son never to have the surgery, less painful to carry the CPAP. Also had the tonsillectomy and deviated septum corrected at the same time; maybe this is why the God of pain has been renting out my mouth for the last week. I thought dentists were pure evil and the masters of pain but it seems the ENT surgeon wears the crown.

avatar Bec cheers

Hi I’m 28yrs female..I have been a really bad snored for yrs and had tonsilitus problems since I can ever remember.my husband says I sound like a chainsaw when I sleep.ppl can hear me at the other end of a large 4 bedroom home.i have 2 children 5 and 3 yrs(autistic,epilepsy and ADHD). I had the UPPP + tonsillectomy and Adnoids removed on thurs 9th jan 2014.i only just found this page thanks to google.i went into theatre at 0845 and was told would be out of recovery by 1145 as there were 2 stages of recovery n the procedure.i was petrified I have only had 2 children n never had issues with my health or ops.my family were petrified midday came and no one told them anything no updates or anything. When I was in stage 2 of recovery I lost consciousness twice on 2 occasions. The anathesis thinks my bid at couldn’t handle the morphene through iv and anathestic from theatre.i was in icu overnight while they monitored oxygen levels.the pain was excruiciating I couldn’t speak at all I sounded like I had something majorly wrong with me.the hospital were giving me double doses of endone liquid and Panadol and I couldn’t swallow the meds especially the endone without my whole mouth and muscles in neck catching on fire.it took me 15mins and 1 ml at a time to get the drugs down with water after they have me a xylocaine viscous topical anathestic.i was discharged bit Evan 24 hrs later with 3 boxes d antibiotic liquid to last. 7days and oxynorm (endone) double strength Panadol and a bottle of xylocaine viscous (pink gel).i had to get my go to get me another script for xylocaine viscous still today 7days after surgery I can’t swallow a thing without it.i bawled my eyes out when the cheapest chemist told me the bottle of xylocaine viscous would only last another 7days and $89 instead of $130 at most chemists.im unable to care for my children so my parents have taken my kids till I feel fit.my husband says I no longer snore but I’m whimpering in my sleep which I was unaware of.the last 3 days I’ve been pushing myself to eat 6 teaspoons of jelly and living off cold water when I can.i had the constant feeling of needing to vomit from the mesh like stitches all in my mouth and at back of my tongue.i get about 2 hrs if comfort n numbness from meds but very lathargic n tired n most mornings I’m waking up nauseous which I’m definitly not preggers lol.i feel like someone is constantly choking me from everything pulling in my neck.i can’t look at food and not tempted to eat eggs or anything like most ppl on here.i have had the occasional water n meds come out my nose but I seem to have settled that a bit now.im very restricted with turning my head n looking up and down.there is a lot of pressure behind my head and ears.inside my ears feels like I have been dumped several times at the beach.im trying to keep positive with recovery I’m on 6hrly drugs atm.my nose n throat do feel clearer to breathe already.wishing all of u the best wih he recovery I’ll check in in a few days

avatar david

Had this surgery yesterday AM. Took about an hour. I do not remember anything wxcept waking up in my room. Spent last night in the hospital anf got home about 1300 today (Friday). Took me prescribe aintbiotics and 15 ml of hydrocondon-acetamin. I’m haveing a scratch throat when I swollow. I think it is the stiches I’m feeling. I’m not feeling much pain, but hacking up mucus with a little blood mixed in. I don’t recall the surgeon mentioning that. Well, we’ll see how this goes. Will post againg tomorrow PM.

avatar david

I forgot to add about food. When I got home I ate some tuna salad and two slices of bread. I removed the edges. It hurt a bit but not so much that I could not eat it. I guess since it was the first real food in 2 1/2 days, it went down easy. I washed it with water after every bite. Planning on chicken noodle soup for dinner.

avatar david

Day 7 – no significant change. Still have to take the meds for pain. Seems as if the pain is getting worst. But nothing that I cannot handle. Still on the soft foods such as Jello and soup. Hurts to swallow. Got an appoint with the doctor next week. I’m looking forward to the visit to see if I’m on track.

avatar Charles Horner

I had my uppp on Thursday at kingsmill hospital in Mansfield. I was a day case but ended up staying in an extra day.with pain relief ( morphine liquid) the pain was manageable I was not allowed home until I eat a meal which was torture. The nursing staff were amazing and It’s now Sunday morning and I had a really rough night, codine pills are keeping the edge off but drops me into a haze……

I have been advised to eat scratchy food but nothing spicey…but after a bad experience with a scotch egg I might stick to yogurts today.

I hope it will be worth it because it sure is painfull.

Good luck to those about to go threw the process, I will update my status in a few days .

avatar Brandon

I had the uppp surgery which included the tounge reduction and tonsil removal on Sept 2. (I wanted to at least enjoy my Labor Day weekend before the surgery). I didn’t have the 7-9 scale pain that most of you are describing following the surgery – more like a 2-3. At most it felt like a really sore throat but on day 10 (today) it felt pretty bad and swallowing food felt like swallowing sand paper. I’m hoping that will pass soon. Have any of you that had the tounge reduction done felt numb spots in your tounge? It seems to be getting better but I’m just a little apprehensive I guess.

avatar Guitarcruiser99

I had this procedure done on Wednesday 13th, Im 37 male, I will not lie to you, it is going to be very painful to eat drink and just generally swallow after the surgery. Its now Friday and I do feel a tiny bit better. My advice is dont read too much about it or you’ll back out. Just have it done Im sure it’ll be worth it in the end, my airway felt massive straight after the op. Just get through the pain and it will be worth it!

avatar Rachael Tilton

Hi there,
My husband had the UPPP surgery on Halloween this year (2013) and it took him a solid 10 days to recover. On December 26 he had the robotic tongue reduction surgery and we are on day 8 now and his pain level is still at a 10. We ended up in the ER on day 2 because he couldn’t swallow the liquid meds and had let himself get dehydrated as well. (Let me also add that he also went to work the day of the surgery, he’s a bit crazy)My question is, when will he turn the corner? He’s still spitting saliva ALOT and is having trouble eating even soft foods. I feel in the dark about this and I’d love any input. Thank you!~Rachael

avatar Connie

I had the fess and the uppp3 surgery July 12th. That is the worst pain I have ever felt. Now it’s been 8 days and I have not touched pain meds on 2 days. I feeling a lot better and breathing better. Drink lots of fluids and do not do any milk or milk products.. Eat Popsicles and jelly. I even managed a piece of pizza last night..

avatar Michele Landers

Had the surgery 6/24/13. Five days out I don’t have the problems most have mentioned. My throat is a bit tender but the pain is manageable. I’m sipping liquids throughout the day to stay hydrated and will not even think about solid food for another ten days. I have lost about 6 pounds. I have not looked at the inside of my throat and from what I’ve read I think I’ll pass. My jaws don’t quite touch but I feel that’s due to the swelling.

avatar Sarah McEvoy

thanks for your post Michelle – my op is tomorrow and I’m down right scared of next week ! very glad and reassured to hear about your recovery – I will let you know how it went – big shop tonight for soups!

avatar Terry

What a fascinating website. I’m Day Twelve, post-op UPPP and simultaneous septum “undeviatus” along with widening the nasal passages, complete with lovely vinyl-like tubes which were removed on Day Seven.

In the hospital I had the medicine promptly added straight to the IV, so no throat pain with that, but I can relate to the most accurate pine cone analogy.

I highly recommend staying ahead of the medicine before it starts to hurt. I stayed on the liquid Baby Tylenol and the liquid Oxycodone until Day Ten. I’m still taking the Baby Tylenol at night to help me relax.

I just got the NutriBullet so everything went in there. Though the chili was pretty gross when the sides of the blender cup turned orange from the grease!!

I did experience better breathing almost immediately despite nose surgery and have lost eight lbs. I think it was due to better breathing at night and walking two miles every day since Day Three on the treadmill at 2.5 mph. But my sister believes it’s due to lack of appetite due to pain of eating. My favorite food though which I almost crave is cheesy scrambled eggs!

I am kind of wondering when I’ll stop spitting up junk and when will it stop hurting to swallow, burp or sneeze.

That is all. Thanks for such a wonderful site. Terry

avatar Trish

Thanks to all of you for posting! My surgery (tonsillectomy plus UPPP at age 50) was on the 12th of June 2013 & although I’d researched a bit beforehand, I hadn’t found this site. I waited until Day 2 post-op to use a flashlight to look at the back of my mouth – and nearly had a heart attack! I’m grateful to those of you who posted what was going on. I’m still struggling & some foods set me off into coughing fits so bad that I end up vomiting. But this sounds about par for the course. Thanks again to all of you for sharing!

avatar mike podewell

I had uppp surgery last friday morning june 21stthe next day i looked in the back of my mouth and there was just a little rednesh but then day 3 i looked again and now i see what looks like part of whats left of my uvula and alot of white looking stuff thinking saliva i’m hoping someone can share and let me know if they experienced the same thing that i am, no blood just pain.

avatar Barbie

I had UPPP and Tonsillectomy at age 49 on 2/16/15. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks out. I am really unhappy with the outcome. I have a lot of mucous, I cannot guzzle or drink more than a couple of chugs at a time, rice and oatmeal sometimes goes up into my nose, and I talk with a speech impairment. I sound like I am gurgling when I speak and have issues saying my B’s, D’s and certain words. I really want to talk with someone who is further out than I am on their recovery time just to see how they are doing. Someone that is 3 months or further out on their recovery, please speak with me on your results.

avatar Chris

Thank you all for sharing about your surgery and recuperation. I was only going to have the surgery because it is not ladylike to snore (in my opinion). Not worth going through all that pain. You were very detailed and I appreciate it as I am going on vacation soon and apparently I would not even have been healed by then. Could I lift a heavy suitcase? No. I did have the nasal surgery a couple of years ago. It really helped and yes, the first few days were awful. The doctor told me that the tissue can grow back. I think it has, a little, but once is enough for me. Thanx again.

avatar jaime chambers

I am trying to get research on this surgery my son is almost 12 and has to have this surgery and i don’t find much information for preteen just adults can someone gives me some insights i need to make a decision soon I am a very nervous mom.I appreciate any insight to this.

avatar jaime chambers

let me clarify he has already has had his adenoids and tonsils removed and now two years later no changes masks don’t help have only worsened so they want to do the UPPP surgery. Allergic to the material in the material and is eating his skin and the masks causes panic attacks so this is our only option we have 🙁

avatar Danielle

I am having 3 procedures to get rid of my breathing issues at night (APNEA) and will have a UPPP. I had my tonsils out a long time ago.

After reading all of the posts, I am a bit anxious. I am not afraid of surgery and have a high threshold for pain. But….can you tell me what foods,liquids, etc I can buy before the surgery. I live alone and want to get everything ready before.

Also has anyone else had the Carafate Suspension. It is basically a liquid band-aid.to help them>

I had planned to read one book to a class a week after surgery. Certainly I can cancel that. Is 7 days later,just dreaming I will be okay enough?


avatar Dani

Today is day 20 after my turbinate reduction and the UPPP (My tonsils were removed 30 years ago). My throat pain was not that bad the first two days and after that, I am used to it, and wish it would go away.
I was given liquid amoxocillin to take from the day of surgey on, but I developed an allergy that did not show up for 3 days. It was a painful itch. No rash popped up. The antiobiotic was immediately halted and the surgeon said don’t worry about getting a replacement antiobiotic (easy for him to say, he did not have the surgery). I was given liquid pain medicine and it knocks me out. I do not take it much as he told me to use Ibprophen tabs. You can take up to 800 mg every 6 hours. I have done this and even set the alarm to get up at 4 am. I do believe, take something before the pain grips you. It will. It is like a horrible raw sore throat.

Disolving stiches were put in my palate. After 8 days they fell out. DO Not look inside your mouth. If you do, then know that the whiteish,stuff at the stitch line is the dying tissue. It will disolve on it’s own. To see it, does not mean it is infected. I called my surgeon and since I did not have any fever, he said it should be okay.. and the tissue around the icky stuff looked fine. But you can call your MD to be sure if this worries you.

I read a poster that said. I had a good time,’But this was not it.

I am waiting for the pain to go away. My MD would not give me spray pain medicine. It is hard to get anything out of my MD other than, yes he did the surgery. So this site was helpful for me to know what others went through

My surgeon did not prepare me, other than say it will be painful and that I could eat what I could tolerate. As if this is patient education.
I wanted to know what to buy before surgery so I had meds at home, any food items so I was prepared. Again, no input, but I did get my meds called into the pharmacy 2 days prior.

So, for those who are thinking about this procedure.

Clear broth. Unsalted may be better as the salt might burn your throat for a few weeks.

have your liquids and soft foods at room temperature. It may seem okay to have cold or warm foods as you put it into your mouth. Let me tell you a nano-second later, you will wish you had room temperature. It’s like the pain does not hit you immediately.

I went to Costco and bought a case of chicken broth” 2 big containers of rice pudding: 1 box of instant oatmeal: and ice pops. 1 case of yogurt: I algo got a case of Healthy CHoice Soup. I cook this and put it in my blender. I would wait a week to try this.

Buy OCEAN spray to keep your nose from drying out.

Get a room humidifer to keep right next to your bed. This will help you at night and miminze waking up with a searing, burning sore throat.

Get Ricola lozenges. I looked for the type with the highest amount of benzodine (for Pain) and no menthol The too cold menthol burns

avatar Dolores

I am scheduled for the surgery in two weeks. My doc told me about the pain but I must say, reading these statements have made me a little scared. I cannot use the CPAP because I am claustrophobic and have panic attacks when I try to use any facial devices. My tonsils are huge and will be removed as well as thinning of my back tongue area. I have moderate-severe apnea and high BP and get little quality sleep. My doc will insert a feeding tube during surgery that will remain for 4 days using Ensure for feeding and nothing orally till it is removed. I take 12 medications a day which will have to be crused and mixed with water to insert into the tube. I am so apprehensive, especially because of my panic attacks . Both my cardiologist and apnea specialist recommend the surgery but now I am tempted to leave it in God’s hands. My biggest enjoyment is cooking and baking. If my taste changes, that would be devastating

avatar DaniJ


It is now 6 weeks post op. The worst part of it all was the first 10 days.
It is important to keep your liquids at room temperature or a tad warm. Anything too cold or hot will hurt.
I was back on normal foods after about 10 days. I just made sure it was smooth. I put canned Healty Choice soups in a blender; noodles and all. I kept looking for protein drinks as a supplement. Walmart & Target had one the brand is: [Pure Protein) that had only 2 grams of sugar and 23 grams of protein. In the beginning, I had a few pills to take, and I just dropped them in a tiny bit of warm water and was able to swallow them.

I now have dry mouth. but I am guessing since I had slept with my mouth open for years off and on, it’s habit. So in time, I am sure all will be okay. I did not want to wear a CPAP mask, so I wanted this surgery. I am glad I had it done and for the results, I would do it again.
I think set yourself up with what you need before the surgery and just know it will be rough for the first maybe, 8 days. But is is bearable. I had to be in a hospital room most days, starting the 3rd day after my surgery, with my cousin. She was dying. I did not take pain meds when I drove to the hospital. I did pack my own yogurt and protein drinks so I was self contained. I used Ibuprofen (200 mg)and took 2-3 every 6 hours when not at home. and not the pain med my MD initially gave me.

Again, it was not a picnic, but I would do it again to be able to breathe so much better and the snoring-gone !

avatar Brett Mollard

Well, it has been 85 hours since I went under the knife….and I must say if I hadn’t of come across this article…..I would probably be back at the hospital now.

It is hard for me to describe the pain I am going through right now….when I was in the hospital I was telling them I was at 7-8 out of 10…..but if that was the case that would mean that I was at 35-40 by this time on Day 4.

I have only been able to sip apple juice with ice chips since the operation. On Day 2 I actually ate two over easy eggs….oops! The richness of the eggs did NOT agree with my throat and the swelling and pain was not worth it.

I find that right now I have constant heart burn, plus the apple juice tastes DISGUSTING. I have also managed to choke down a few popsicles, but they also taste like complete azz….ugh! I am a total foodie, so I really hope this doesn`t affect my taste buds long term….

Anyway….thanks for the info….at least now I know that this kind of pain is expected.


avatar Tony

Going into day 4 after uppp. A little background. I am 30 years old 5’6″ 186 pounds stocky build with a 17 inch neck. I did not know I had sleep apnea till my wife had noticed some breathing issues while I was sleeping. As of now I can say my doc is pretty good. I should say that I did not do my homework on this surgery so if you are considering it then I recommend that you do your reading. Luckily my doc was honest. I think he said at least a dozen times that it would be extremely uncomfortable and painful but the daily thought of exhaustion and depression outweighed the thoughts of pain.

Day two so far was the worst but this was partially because I was avoiding following the pain meds. The liquid oxycodone says every four to six hours and I was waiting unti the pain. Returned to take it. I DO NOT recommend this. Take it every six then every five and so worth until you find a good schedule as long as it within the range.

I have been drinking beef broth, water, and chicken stock. Today’s reward, banana baby food which surprisingly wasn’t that bad and went down pretty easy. Sleeping has been little to none because the pain meds do wear off and wake me up. My doc says if I feel up to it I should be able to return to work within a week of the surgery… A of right now I’m going to say that is highly unlikely… I have been Very weak and dizzy at times but all t be expected from what I am reading. I am hoping to have some real food by Christmas. And yes I miss the heck out of food and I’m only four days in

avatar Kevin

I am in day 2 of the recovery from UPPP surgery. I dont know whether this is a testament to my doctors skill or just the quiet before the storm. I am 6’3″, 270lbs with a 19 1/2 neck. I have a moderate level of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It has gotten worse over the course of 4 years. To the point that I am using a CPAP machine I cant stand, and I havent slept in the same bed as my wife in a year, due to my snoring.
Which brings me to two days ago. My doctor came straight out and told me this procedure was going to be very painful, with days 4-7 being the worst. And it was totally up to me whether or not to do the procedure. He believed though that I was a great candidate for this procedure. It was no guarantee, but he believed I would receive tremendous benefit from it. My tonsils were huge, and the opening in the back of your throat where the Uvula hangs down, is usually the size of a dollar coin or maybe even a half dollar coin. Mine was the size of a dime. This procedure could drastically change the quality of life for me.
The operation went very well, and about two hours after the procedure I awake to the nurse asking how I feel and how was the pain. To my surprise I was able to speak, pretty rasspy, but I could speak and the pain on a scale from 1-10 was only about a 3, maybe a 4. It was no worse than any sore throat I have ever had, but I did and still have the feeling that something is stuck in the back of my throat. This I understand may last for a couple weeks. I chalked the lack of pain up to the anesthesia. I had a mild headache and was hungry, so they gave me some Tylenol, some crackers and some water. Swallowing took a conscious effort, was a little painful but not bad. I was sent home with a prescription of antibiotics, and Percocet. I was also prescribed something that I havent read about here in the comments and I recommend asking the doctor for. I was told by the nurses at this surgical center, that my doctor was the only one who uses it. It is called Carafate Suspension. It is basically a liquid band-aid. They apply it after the procedure and send a big bottle home with you to use. You gargle about a tablespoon of the stuff for a minute before meals and before you go to bed. Then you swallow it. Tastes like bubblegum. I went home and was able to eat pancakes and eggs. I had Top Ramen for dinner and a slice of cake. I drank lots of ice cold liquids to kinda numb the area and keep it lubricated. Of course I made sure that everything I eat is not hot, just mildly warm, and stay away from milk or ice cream because it increases mucus. Swallowing again takes a conscious effort, but is not extremely painful. I have kept up with my medications, and day two has been about the same. I am expecting for the pain to exponentially get worse, seeing as this has been everyones experience. But two days in, it isnt bad, and thats better than 99% of the comments I have read. As I said earlier, this may end up being a testament to the skill level of my doctor. I hope so. I will give an update on day 4.

avatar Kevin

Day 4 following UPPP surgery. When I awoke this morning, I expected the worst. Up to this point my pain has been relatively moderate. I dont think my pain level has been over a 5. Honestly I am VERY, VERY greatful, but I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have read nothing but horror stories and I dont know if it is my doctors surgical skill or the things I am doing post surgery. Whatever it is I hope it keeps going this way. First off I am drinking plenty of cold liquids. I have been drinking large ice filled cups of ice tea all day. I am easily drinking a gallon a day. Makes for plenty of bathroom breaks, but it seems to be helping. One major instruction my doctor gave me was, do not sleep lying down. With the combination of the swelling from the operation and the narcotics for pain, he said the best thing for me to do to ensure I “keep breathing” would be to sleep upright, in a recliner, with my CPAP on. I have done just that. Dont even sleep upright in bed, cause it is too easy to laydown. The combination of the swelling, the throat relaxing, the narcotics depressing your respiration, all make for possible problems. I am sure the Carafate Suspension(Liquid Band-aid) that I was prescribed is doing its job as well.(See previous post) All I know is that I have been able to eat and drink. I did experience more pain this morning than I have in all of the 3 previous days but it subsided over the course of the day. I have also kept up with my pain meds and antibiotics. Believe it or not, I had fishsticks for dinner. I will continue to update.

avatar Mike

Tim, two laters later, what was the recovery like in hindsight? I had it done about 10 days ago, but it was done via Trans Oral Robotic surgery. Pain doesn’t seem to be as severe, but the same side effects of painfully slow eating, painful swallowing, mucus buildup. Did you have trouble speaking?

avatar T.Danti

I am in the 4th day of recovery. So, far so good. It is very painful, will have to see if was all worth the time and money. Some tips: Keep a record of when and how much meds. you take, keep an eye on your vital signs; BP, temp, weight and your fluid intake. Dr. told me I would lose 10 to 15 lbs of being unable to eat for a week or so. Make sure you drink good healthy smoothies and use the juicer if you have one. At night my throat gets dry so try a humidifier or a wet cloth over your mouth. Keep drinking as much as possible. Will let you know what the final out come is.
Good luck

avatar Judi Copeland

Now I am feeling more apprehensive of what will happen 10 days from now. In all the research, I have mostly found medical guidelines on the basics of the procedures, the risks, and complication; all in the most sanitized version only doctors can appreciate.

I just really was longing for something like you presented, the realities of what happens after. At least knowing it is 2 weeks of hell, I can brace myself for it instead of walking in blindly. Thank you for sharing.

avatar Judi Copeland

I had the surgery done November 6th. Coming out of the anesthesia I felt very little pain. I was sent home same day with a prescription for Percocet and antibiotics. I was told to keep ahead of the pain and if it got too intense to contact the doctor. 24 hours after the surgery, I called the doctor. It was pretty bad. I got extra oxicodone. It helps me get to sleep and as long as I am unconscious, I don’t pay too much mind to the pain.

By day 3, the gloves were off. I have never felt that level of pain in my life.

5 days from the surgery, I still have not been able to eat. If it weren’t for Gatorade, I would be very weak. At least the pain has gone back to the level before day 3.

avatar Judi Copeland

It’s been 8 days since I had it done. The pain pills don’t do much for me anymore and Tylenol alone won’t cut it either. It is so hard to swallow anything and it feels as if something is choking me. I can’t breath and swallow at the same time. What I do manage to drink often comes through my nose. It feels like the roof of my mouth is sitting on my tongue.

On day 6 at around 4 in the morning, I felt a trickle go down my throat. Then the trickle became a gush which I was choking on that fully woke me up. As I sat up, blood was pouring from my nose and mouth for a good 15 minutes. Between the time when the trickle started to when I got it to stop, I must have lost as least 1 cup of blood.

I called my ENT, but he was in surgery and was put through to his nurse. She said it all sounded normal and I shouldn’t worry about it. It was probably just a scab falling off and that’s probably what I was choking on[She has a habit of being lazy with her job and callous about her work.] Even though the home care sheet specifically says contact the doctor if bleeding is more than 10 minutes, the pain has not changed, or it is difficult to eat or drink anything. I told this nurse I was experiencing all of that. She didn’t seem to care and brushed it off as normal. So I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and try to wait it out a few more days.

At day 8 my throat is so sore. I feel the stitches from the roof of my mouth resting on my tongue. Last night it was a chore trying to swallow all of my meds and most felt stuck in my throat. This morning I can’t even swallow a pill. I am surviving on ice chips. The constant stream of mucous is killing my appetite and making me sick to my stomach. The swallowing of blood didn’t help either. I am roughly going to the bathroom once a day to urinate [almost cola brown urine].

I am really questioning why did I go through with this. At least with the septoplasty, the pain was over and done with in 3 weeks. It was the most uncomfortable 3 weeks, but as soon as the packaging was removed I was no longer in pain and I could breath. That was a good choice. However, the more I read about the UPPP I find there really are no clear cut end in sights for everyone. Some may feel bad the first three days and feel normal. Most have the nightmare day 3-4, but get over the worst of it in 4-6 weeks. Still there are others 3+months after who still have problems. I am wondering if I mangled my mouth for nothing.

I hope by eating more of these ice chips I might be open enough to take in some broth or Gatorade.

avatar Judi Copeland

All of the major pain is done (6 weeks later). It took 5 weeks to speak again and I am scheduled to see a speech therapist. Things taste different. The architecture of my mouth feels weird; like the roof of my mouth touching my tongue. My appetite has not returned and I lost 40 pounds. I have to force myself to eat when I remember; sometimes I will go a few days without eating.

On the plus side, I can breathe better. It’s like I have been living with a pillow over my face for a long time only to have the pillow removed.

Not sure about how I sleep, but at least during the day I feel the difference. I have yet to do another sleep study, but at this point I don’t want to know. The ENT said he would recommend the mandibular maxillary advancement surgery next if I still have episodes. I will not do any further surgeries to treat sleep apnea. I also won’t go back to CPAP because that caused too much interference with sleep.

Was it worth it? Yes and no. I can breathe being the most important factor in being worth it. No, due to the long term pain and the way my mouth feels mangled. Mixed, no appetite is causing weight loss which alone might help with OSA. Long term no appetite has the potential for other unpleasant health issues.

As per the anorexic effect [loss of appetite, not the eating disorder] it does feel good to lose weight this quickly, but the surgery is an extreme way to do it. However, I had a history of eating disorders in the past and this could trigger another cycle of it. So I would give caution to anyone with an eating disorder (even those with a past history). A trigger such as this could restart those issues; so be careful.

I scheduled an appointment with my regular doctor and a psychologist to prevent an escalation towards the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. If you have that same issue as I do, seek help before that gets out of hand.

avatar Mike

Thanks for the update, Judi. I’m 4 weeks removed from mine, and I have to say. I feel great. I had the UPPP, and work done on the epiglottis. During my deviated septum surgery earlier this year, my doctor did a sleep endoscopy and noticed that I had 3 areas of obstruction (epiglottis being the third). Mine was done with the robot though (TORS). I lost 20 pounds. I had trouble speaking for about 3 weeks. It sounded (to me, anyway) as if I had my head under water and was trying to speak. Swallowing was difficult for the first 3 weeks. Now, the soreness is minor. My sleep is now on side of the spectrum. I wake up after about 2 hours feeling refreshed. I’m trying to be very careful now in terms of not gaining the weight back.

I agree with the food tasting different statement. I remember tasting the sourness of the fruity yogurt for hours. Things taste saltier.

avatar Lynn Bednarz

I am in day 7 and am not what you would call a happy camper. I am having all of the issues I am reading on this blog but some other side issues also. My bladder is not emptying all the way at each bathroom visit. My stomach on the other hand is in a constant state of gurgling. Not to be discusting but it is like an explosion with each of these visits. It still hurts to talk. I still can’t eat much. LAst night I was up with chills and all the normal pains to go with it. I only have one more dose of pain meds so I hope I can get. Hold of someone it being the day after Christmas.

avatar Sharon

Hi Tim, thank you for staying active on this post. My husband has done the UPPP surgery and now into his 2nd month. The pain has long gone, but he has been complaining of muscle pulling and contraction at the top and side of palate that caused him much discomfort. He is much into depression and anxiety, have you experience this discomfort ? and if so, how long should him expect not to have this feeling ?

avatar Tim Frazier

Hi Sharon,
The only side effect I’ve had from the surgery is a proclivity to have food or drink “go down the wrong pipe” every once in awhile…always when I’m eating or drinking too fast. I imagine what your husband is experiencing is some scar tissue in the wrong place (but I’m definitively not a doctor). If you looked into his throat a week or two after the procedure you’ll know that it is a very random and ugly healing process and to my layman’s eye at least it appears there’s great potential for things to heal up in a variety of configurations, considering the area is in almost constant motion and flex.

If you haven’t already I would get him back to the surgeon to see if there is a bit of follow-up nipping that needs to be done on some scar tissue.

Second opinions are always in order; that’s my motto.

avatar Tim Frazier

I sleep better. I’d say my snoring and obstruction are improved by about 80%.

Would I do it again?

Yes. But I had to stop and think really hard about it. Keep in mind that now the pain of recovery is well in the past it is easier for me to say yes to that question. If you had asked it three weeks after the surgery I would have told you “no way”, but I also wouldn’t have known what my overall improvement would eventually be after full recovery.

It is a very rough recovery. If he can tolerate a CPAP tell him to avoid this surgery at all costs. If his doctor did not do a thorough examination and say he is an ideal candidate for it then he should get a second opinion before proceeding.

It would be heartbreaking to go through that kind of pain and not reap significant benefit from it.

avatar Rebecca Bass

There is another option out there for sleep apnea/snoring. Its a TAP appliance, you can get one thru your dentist. Its like a night guard or mouth guard. It is designed to hold your jaw in the most optimal position to prevent breathing problems when you are sleeping.

avatar Dan Coll

I just found this site and from what I am researching now about the UPPP procedure, sounds a pretty nasty recovery.
Tim, just curious, were you offered the cPAP, or straight into surgery? I am wondering what other options were offered? How much time is typically lost from work for recovery?
I am scheduled for deviated septum surgery, then 3 weeks after that a sleep study, however, the ENT doctor told me I need to have my airway widened. Sounds like the UPPP procedure for me. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Also, it has been a bit over a year for you, has it cured your sleep apnea?

avatar Tim Frazier

I was initially prescribed a CPAP machine. It didn’t work for me.
The only other option was UPPP.
I was off work for two weeks.
Recovery was horrible, especially the first 8 days.
My wife says my snoring is now about 30% of what it used to be.
I feel much more rested now that I did pre-surgery.
Now that it’s all behind me I consider it worth it, but if you’d asked me the first month when the memory of the pain was still fressh I would have told you to avoid it at all costs. ;o). It’s really rough, but you’ll get through it in better shape if you really need it. You should get at least one other professional opinion and make sure the docs agree you’re a good candidate for it. It would be miserable to endure that recovery and see no gain from it.

avatar ernie

I’m a 53 year old male in the UK. I’m currently on day 21 after a UUUP and tonsillectomy. Just wanted to say that I couldn’t cope without painkillers and anti-inflammatories even after this length of time.
The worst aspect is that I’m constantly belching no matter what I eat and each time it feels like I’m bringing up razor blades.
I suppose I must be sucking in more air when I eat since the op. It takes me ages to eat anything and it must be room temperature.
My op took 3 and a half hours instead of the scheduled 60 minutes. I’m just bothered that something has been damaged in the process.
Does/did anyone else suffer from the above?

avatar joan

I am having a UPPP on Aug 1 2011. I have an upper airway obstruction and i snore but dont have tonsills. As I read these posts, i am starting to have doubts

avatar tony

Tim i found this website with google as I found out I am having this surgery soon to, as well as my tonsils and they are fixing my deviated septum. Your information is the most up to date I have found and it sounds like it will be worth it for me to go through this. Any advice for me?

avatar Stephen Parnell

I am having this in the morning Tim. If you had to do it all over again would you? I feel like two weeks of pain will be worth the lifetime of quality of life.



avatar Tra Hitt

Day 5 of captivity….

At least I timed this with Chantix to stop smoking also. Was a 2 pack per day smoker for years and have not had an urge to smoke since the procedure 🙂

avatar Pat Sharp

I found your page just prior to my uppp with tonsillectomy Oct 27, 2010. Thank you so much. Your descrition is smack on. I am now day 15 and just really becoming human again. My bottle of liquid hydrocodone was my best friend. Then, after the anti-biotic I discovered thrush. Delightful. Don’t know it? Yeast-feels like someone cross-cut your tongue with a razor blade and then forced acidic food in you. Got the point? I am 72 and the the recovery sucked but, I breathe so much better already. I cannot wear my ResMed-it blows off my face with the 15 setting.

Thank you

avatar Toni

I am on day two and let me tell you how ACCURATE you are…right on the money. Your post has gotten me through the excruciating day. Thank the lord … My tounge and throat are starting to throb…onward to day three!

avatar Greybeard

Well, you and others have given me an itch I gotta scratch. With my son no longer under our roof I have a few extra $$$ to spend, and I’m tired of wasting four unoccupied seats commuting to work in the family truckster. I’m presently the high bidder on a bike on EBay. If I’m successful in becoming the new owner of this machine, like your big Triumph, I won’t be seeing myself coming and going on the street.
I went out to the garage to grab my old Bell full-face helmet and found mice had nested there, completely destroying its innards. So I’m now looking at Dale Franks’ helmet suggestion on his blog and considering others. You got any advice for this old/new rider?

Hope your healing progress continues, my virtual friend. Update us when you feel the inclination.

avatar Tim Frazier

That’s a tall order, Blogfriend.

I loved my current HJC IS-Max at first, mainly for the features at a very affordable price. I wrote a review on it here, you may have read it already.

Problem is, it has developed an annoying loss of shape memory in the plastic inside shield on the chin guard that makes it impossible to flip the face up with one hand any more. Also, the pad flanges refuse to remain tucked under the rear edge. It is still very functional for its primary mission, though, and for the price those are annoyances and not good enough reasons to toss it out.

I can’t say it was a bad deal, you can’t expect the quality of a $700.00 Shoei in a $200.00 HJC.

The primary thing about helmets is to get something that is comfortable and that fits. The biggest key is to keep in mind that the foam is going to compress slightly over the first few hours of use until it reaches the point it’s slightly molded to your skull. This is also why you shouldn’t buy one that’s on the display shelf…make them give you one that’s still in the box after you decide on a winner (for that and many other reasons also stay away from used helmets, no matter how good a deal they seem). The display units may have been tried on any number of skulls and you have no idea how much of that precious “crush factor” has been depleted and robbed you of the helmet permanently conforming to the most optimal fit for your own cranium.

This equates to: Make sure it fits a little snug, it’s going to loosen up a tad over the first few uses. If you’re going with a full face or modular flip-up, when you’re trying them on have chewing gum in your mouth. If you can chew gum without biting the insides of your cheeks while it’s on go one size tighter.

If the sales guy doesn’t insist on measuring your head before selling you a helmet go to another store. Any MC accessory shop that deserves to operate in the market should know enough to make sure this most critical safety device is at least offered in the right size to their customer.

Make sure it’s minimum DOT certified, of course.

Beyond that it’s a matter of how much you want to pay for very small increments of quality and comfort.

Here’s a few suggestions to try on:

Can’t go wrong, but expensives $500.00 and up –
Nolan (probably the most innovative of the lot, check out their removable chin bar model)

Moderate prices, moderate quality $175.00 to $500.00 –
Vemar Jiano (equivalent to my old Caberg, probably my next purchase)
Bell (Careful, their low end is kinda shoddy, high end is good)

Junk / stay away! –
Anything under $150.00 is probably going to be a piece of crap

avatar Tim Frazier

Thanks, Joe. The meds took the edge off, at least. I don’t think I’d do this again unless they promised to put me into a chemically induced coma until the healing was over.

avatar Tim Frazier

Thanks, Fish! I think I’m only a day or two away from being completely pain free again. Tonight will probably be my first real good night’s sleep since the surgery.

avatar jim

Hang in there …
With the delays between posting I’m getting the feeling that any position is PAIN FILLED and that is taking up ALL that void space in your brain.
… prayers for Robin

avatar Greybeard

So, you’re given a “Get out of jail free” card, but decided you’d be a REAL MAN and go to jail anyway?
Pain produces stress. Stress does bad things to us, maybe even delaying quick healing.
When they ask me that “one to ten” question I’ll be a wimp, I think. I don’t care much for pain.

I’m glad you are safely through the worst of it and look forward to further updates. (The fact that you feel good enough already to share is a good sign!)
Get well soon, blogfriend.

avatar Tim Frazier

Thanks for the prayers, Greybeard. knowing I was lifted up in prayer by you and others really helped me get through it. I’m pretty much over the hump now…the pain is tolerable and getting better by the hour.

Now we’ll see how much it affected my OSA as soon as I get back into my normal routines.

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