Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty is a popular method for reducing snoring. Drawbacks are the large initial expense of the laser unit and related equipment and required safety precautions. The equipment required for electrocautery for cautery-assisted uvulopalatoplasty is significantly less expensive to obtain and operate compared with the carbon dioxide laser. Ninety-eight patients were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups to undergo uvulopalatoplasty: one performed with the carbon dioxide laser and the other with electrocautery. We compared postoperative pain, time off work, efficacy, and the number of treatments required to achieve a satisfactory result. We found no statistically significant difference in any of these parameters between the two treatment groups (P > 0.05). Our data show that the use of the carbon dioxide laser offers no advantage over electrocautery in performing uvulopalatoplasty to treat snoring.
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