A palatal z-plasty is performed in patients with an elongated soft palate and uvula. The uvula is divided down the midline and then transferred to an area forward and laterally. This accomplishes the function of shortening the palate and eliminating the vibration of the uvula and palate. The procedure also prevents narrowing of the soft palate as it heals. It is similar in many ways to the traditional uvulopalatopharyngoplasty "UPPP". As with UPPP and lateral pharyngoplasty, this procedure is often performed in conjunction with a tonsillectomy.
Recovery typically takes two weeks. A liquid and soft diet is recommended. There is associated discomfort that is controlled with narcotic pain medications. Patients can experience ear pain which is normal. The sutures that are present will dissolve in two to three weeks.