Elongated uvula causing chronic cough: Role of the modified uvulopalatoplasty procedure

Patricia A. Loftus, Arsen Stegnjajic, Kathleen M. Tibbetts, Arvind K. Badhey, Jeffrey Glicksman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: A subset of patients previously diagnosed with idiopathic chronic cough were found to have an elongated uvula contacting the laryngeal surface of the epiglottis and inducing a cough reflex. These patients were successfully treated with an in-office modified uvulopalatoplasty procedure (mUPP) at our institution. We aim to further categorize this subset of patients and describe the mUPP that can potentially offer this group of patients cure for their chronic cough. Study Design: Institutional Review Board-approved retrospective chart review. Methods: Patient demographics, medical history, associated symptoms, prior treatment remedies, and response to mUPP were recorded and analyzed for 30 patients who underwent an in-office mUPP. Results: The majority of patients were middle-aged, nonsmoking females with symptoms of globus sensation and a gag reflex when lying supine. 96.7% of patients reported complete resolution or noticeable improvement of their cough following mUPP. There were no complications from this in-office procedure in our study. Conclusions: The authors' main goals are to make other physicians aware of this under-recognized subset of patients with chronic cough who have an identifiable and treatable cause for their symptoms and to provide the steps of a simple and effective surgical solution to chronic cough in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic cough adults
  • Chronic cough management
  • Chronic cough otorhinolaryngology
  • Chronic cough treatment
  • Cough
  • Elongated uvula
  • Uvula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Medicine(all)


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