Background: It is unclear when it is safe to discharge patients with a diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) after ambulatory surgical procedures due to concern for postoperative respiratory compromise and hypoxemia. Our OSA patients undergoing ambulatory-type orthopedic procedures are monitored overnight in the PACU, thus we reviewed patient records to determine incidence of complications.
Methods: Two hundred and six charts of patients with preoperative diagnosis of OSA based on ICD-9 codes were reviewed for outcomes including episodes of hypoxemia. Univariate analysis followed by logistic regression and propensity analysis was performed to determine independent risk factors for hypoxemia and association with adverse outcomes.
Results: The majority of patients had regional anesthesia (95%). Thirty four percent of patients had hypoxemia in the PACU. Initial risk factors for hypoxemia identified by univariate analysis were BMI >/= 35, increased age, history of COPD, upper extremity procedure, and use of peripheral nerve block. Independent risk factors identified by logistic regression were history of COPD (OR 3.64 with 95% CI 1.03-12.88) and upper extremity procedure (2.53, 1.36-4.68). After adjustment with propensity scores, adverse events were rare, and unplanned hospital admission after PACU stay was not increased with hypoxemia (11% vs 16%)
Conclusions: Episodes of postoperative hypoxemia in OSA patients undergoing ambulatory surgery with regional anesthesia are not associated with increased adverse outcomes or unplanned hospital admission.