Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and perioperative complications: a systematic review of the literature

Tajender S Vasu, Ritu Grewal, Karl Doghramji
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine: JCSM: Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 2012 April 15, 8 (2): 199-207
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common sleep related breathing disorder. Its prevalence is estimated to be between 2% and 25% in the general population. However, the prevalence of sleep apnea is much higher in patients undergoing elective surgery. Sedation and anesthesia have been shown to increase the upper airway collapsibility and therefore increasing the risk of having postoperative complications in these patients. Furthermore, the majority of patients with sleep apnea are undiagnosed and therefore are at risk during the perioperative period. It is important to identify these patients so that appropriate actions can be taken in a timely fashion. In this review article, we will discuss the epidemiology of sleep apnea in the surgical population. We will also discuss why these patients are at a higher risk of having postoperative complications, with the special emphasis on the role of anesthesia, opioids, sedation, and the phenomenon of REM sleep rebound. We will also review how to identify these patients preoperatively and the steps that can be taken for their perioperative management.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"