How Much Does an Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty Cost?
An uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a major surgical procedure that involves removing excess tissue in the throat to widen the airway. The procedure is one of most widely used methods to treat obstructive sleep apnea. T
How much does it cost?
- On average, the cost of the UPPP procedure is going to vary anywhere from as little as $2,000 to as much as $5,500 without any sort of insurance.
- With insurance, companies may cover it as long as it is deemed medically necessary. For those who are looking for a new policy or want to switch, consider browsing hundreds of policies for free at eHealthInsurance.com.
- Laser-assisted uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (LAUP) at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, costs $1,800. During this procedure, a laser is used to eliminate the uvula and the soft palate. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office and takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
- The uvulopalatopharyngoplasty procedure at Carolina ENT Associates in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, costs approximately $5,700. The price includes surgeon’s fee, facility fees, and hospitalization. The cost is usually covered by insurance if the patient has sleep apnea.
- According to EntInfo.com, a UPPP conducted in a hospital and requires general anesthesia costs more than $5,000. Additionally, treating snoring problems through a laser type of treatment can cost $500 for each session.
What is going to be included?
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is typically recommended for patients with sleep apnea. During this surgical procedure, the surgeon removes excess tissue in the throat in order to increase the size of the airway. A bigger airway allows more air to enter and minimizes the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. The procedure can also be laser-assisted. This option is typically used in the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea in some patients.
- The goals of the procedure is to enlarge and stabilize the airway.
- The average procedure takes less than 45 minutes.
What are the extra costs?
- After the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, the patient may need to undergo continuous positive airway pressure therapy. This stage entails the use of a breathing instrument worn at night to allow easier breathing and to prevent the closure of the airway during sleep. The average cost of CPAP devices or machines is between $300 and $5,000 while the average cost of CPAP accessories can range from $300 to $800 annually.
- Pain medications may be recommended to relax the throat muscles, but medicines may need to be avoided post-surgery to reduce the chances of the airways narrowing and causing sleep apnea incidents.
- The doctor will want a follow-up appointment with the patient a few weeks after the surgery. Another sleep study may be performed to determine how well the surgery worked.
Factors that influence the price:
- Professional fees. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a major surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia. Surgeons’ fees and anesthesiologist fees are common costs in this procedure. The skills, experience and background of the professionals often affect their overall fees.
- Facility fees. The procedure for uvulopalatopharyngoplasty can be done at different locations, such as hospitals, doctor’s office, and ambulatory testing facilities. Of the three, hospitals usually charge the highest while ambulatory surgical centers often quote the lowest prices.
- Post-surgery needs. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty post-surgery may require a post-op phase in which the patient is required to have further scheduled consultations as well as certain medications to alleviate pain after the procedure.
Tips to know:
- Individuals who suffer from obesity or have some other medical conditions may experience complications after UPPP. For this reason, it is vital to get an experienced doctor and surgeon to ensure the safety of the patient.
- According to Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of South Florida, UPPP is successful in eliminating snoring in 90-95% of patients. When the method is combined with tongue reduction surgery, obstructive sleep apnea can be resolved to a great extent in 80% to 85% of patients, studies note. In many cases, the surgery can eliminate the need for a CPAP machine.
- Not all insurance providers reimburse for treatment of snoring since they view the methods as cosmetic procedures. Find a surgical center that will provide assistance on how to obtain approval and reimbursement for a snoring procedure.
How can I save money?
- If you need to undergo uvulopalatopharyngoplasty in a hospital, ask your doctor if it is possible for you to be discharged on the same day. While hospitalization is not uncommon in some patients who have had UPPP, there are studies that show same-day discharge may be recommended for patients who exhibit normal conditions and experience no complications during the observation period, which is typically one to two hours after the surgery. Without hospitalization, the overall cost of the surgery is reduced significantly.
- If looking to avoid paying for hefty charges, consider having the procedure performed in an ambulatory surgery center. These facilities usually provide much lower surgery costs compared with hospitals and clinics.
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