Long-term efficacy of expansion sphincter pharyngoplasty in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome



The aim of this study was to analyze both short-term and long-term results of the expansion sphincter pharyngoplasty surgery, which is commonly used in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and to compare it with objective and subjective methods.


Patients who underwent expansion sphincter pharyngoplasty were included in the study. Polysomnography at postoperative sixth-month, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and visual analog score of snoring (VAS) were used to assess short-term results. Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and visual analog score of snoring (VAS) at postoperative third-year were used for long-term results. Sixth-month and third-year data before and after the surgery were compared. Possible complications and morbidity rates related to surgery were evaluated.


Of 39 patients, OSAS was assessed as mild in 16 (41%), moderate in 14 (36%), and severe in 9 (23%). Mean age of patients was 43.2 ± 7.5, and 21 were men (54%). According to postoperative six-month PSG data, the apnea hypopnea index (AHI) values decreased significantly from 25.2 ± 8.3 to 11.6 ± 6.9/h, p=0.012. There were decreases in ESS from baseline to 6-month and 3-years from 10.4, to 4.4, and 4.4, and VAS scores changed from 8.6 to 1.6 and 1.9, p<0.05. No serious complications were observed in patients in the early and late postoperative period.


The expansion sphincter pharyngoplasty procedure is an important option for OSAS surgery with long-term effective results and low morbidity and complication rates.

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Author information




SC collected and analyzed data, wrote article, and approved the final version. KY designed and supervised study, interpreted data, made statistics, wrote and revised article, and approved the final version. SK collected and analyzed data, revised article, and approved the final version.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Serkan Cayir.

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Ethical approval

The Ethic Committee at Faculty of Medicine, Aksaray University approved the study protocol. The reference number of the study approval was REC 2020/06-72. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/ or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

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Cayir, S., Yesildag, K. & Kayabasi, S. Long-term efficacy of expansion sphincter pharyngoplasty in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep Breath (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-021-02315-1

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  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Expansion pharyngoplasty
  • Polysomnography
  • Continuous positive airway pressure