Jefferson University Hospitals

Expansion Sphincteroplasty

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty generally involves a very painful recovery and has many high risks. While there are many surgeons who still perform this technique, head and neck surgeons at Jefferson usually perform a modification of this procedure called expansion sphincteroplasty to try and limit the risks and improve outcomes for treatment of sleep apnea.

What Does Expansion Sphincteroplasty Involve?

Expansion sphincteroplasty involves:

  1. Removing the remaining tonsil tissue
  2. Creating an incision on the soft palate
  3. Pulling the muscles that comprise the back wall of the tonsil forward to increase the space in the throat
  4. Placing stitches to further pull open the space

While uvulopalatopharyngoplasty involves removal of the uvula, most of the surgeons performing the modified version preserve the majority if not the entire uvula. Although the procedure results in a painful recovery and has similar risks as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, expansion sphincteroplasty is associated with decreased overall risks and appears to have improved outcomes.

Why Choose Jefferson for Ears, Nose and Throat Disorders Treatment in Philadelphia?

Our head and neck surgeons are backed by state-of-the-art equipment and have played a key role in helping advance many of the techniques and tools used today in the treatment of disorders that affect the ears, nose and throat.