To study the effect of Z-palatopharyngoplasty plus radiofrequency of the base of the tongue on middle ear function.
A retrospective review of a prospective data set at a tertiary care center.
University-affiliated medical center.
The study population included 47 patients (42 men and 5 women; mean age, 40.8 years) who underwent Z-palatopharyngoplasty plus radiofrequency of the base of the tongue for obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome. All patients had healthy eardrums and no previous history of chronic ear disease.
Main Outcome Measures
Pure-tone audiometric and tympanometric assessments were performed preoperatively and at 3 days, 7 days, 1 month, and 3 months postoperatively. Levels of baseline and postoperative middle ear pressure were compared.
Twelve patients (26%) reported otologic concerns, such as ear pressure and/or otalgia, within 1 week postoperatively. No permanent otologic discomfort occurred. A trend toward reduced middle ear pressure was noted in this study. The decrease in middle ear pressure became apparent on day 3. However, mean pressure changes were no longer significantly different than preoperative values by 1 week after surgery.
We found that Z-palatopharyngoplasty plus radiofrequency of the base of the tongue for obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome induces changes in middle ear function. However, the changes were temporary and not significant after 3 months of follow-up.