BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Laser Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)


Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is an outpatient procedure proposed as a treatment for snoring with or without associated obstructive sleep apnea. The procedure sequentially reshapes superficial palatal tissue using a carbon dioxide laser. LAUP differs from standard uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) since only part of the uvula and associated soft-palate tissues are reshaped. LAUP does not remove or alter tonsils or lateral pharyngeal wall tissue. LAUP is performed in 3 - 7 sessions at 3 - 4 week intervals. One purported advantage of LAUP is that the amount of tissue ablated can be titrated so treatment can be discontinued once snoring is eliminated.

LAUP cannot be considered an equivalent procedure to UPPP.  LAUP also differs from radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate although the concept is similar.




Minimally invasive surgical procedures such as LAUP have limited efficacy in individuals with mild-to-moderate OSA and have not been shown to improve excessive daytime sleepiness in adults. Additional studies are needed.


American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. (2014). Position statement: surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea. Retrieved July 21, 2017 from

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2010). Position statement: surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea.  Retrieved July 21, 2017 from

BlueCross BlueShield Association. Evidence Positioning System. (1:2019). Surgical treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. (7.01.101). Retrieved April 30, 2019 from https://www.evidencepositioningsystem/. (28 articles and/or guidelines reviewed)

Camacho, M., Nesbitt, B., Lambert, E., Song, S., Chang, E., Liu, S., et al. (2017). Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty for obstructive sleep apnea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep, 40 (3), 1-8. (Level 1 evidence)

Göktas,Ö., Solmaz, M., Göktas, G., & Olze, H. (2014). Long-term results in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) after laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). PLOS One, 9 (6), e100211. (Level 4 evidence)




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