A cost-effectiveness analysis of nasal surgery to increase continuous positive airway pressure adherence in sleep apnea patients with nasal obstruction

Laryngoscope. 2017 Apr;127(4):977-983. doi: 10.1002/lary.26257. Epub 2016 Sep 22.


Objectives/hypothesis: Nasal surgery has been implicated to improve continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) compliance in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and nasal obstruction. However, the cost-effectiveness of nasal surgery to improve CPAP compliance is not known. We modeled the cost-effectiveness of two types of nasal surgery versus no surgery in patients with OSA and nasal obstruction undergoing CPAP therapy.

Study design: Cost-effectiveness decision tree model.

Methods: We built a decision tree model to identify conditions under which nasal surgery would be cost-effective to improve CPAP adherence over the standard of care. We compared turbinate reduction and septoplasty to nonsurgical treatment over varied time horizons from a third-party payer perspective. We included variables for cost of untreated OSA, surgical cost and complications, improved compliance postoperatively, and quality of life.

Results: Our study identified nasal surgery as a cost-effective strategy to improve compliance of OSA patients using CPAP across a range of plausible model assumptions regarding the cost of untreated OSA, the probability of adherence improvement, and a chronic time horizon. The relatively lower surgical cost of turbinate reduction made it more cost-effective at earlier time horizons, whereas septoplasty became cost-effective after a longer timespan.

Conclusions: Across a range of plausible values in a clinically relevant decision model, nasal surgery is a cost-effective strategy to improve CPAP compliance in OSA patients with nasal obstruction. Our results suggest that OSA patients with nasal obstruction who struggle with CPAP therapy compliance should undergo evaluation for nasal surgery.

Level of evidence: 2c Laryngoscope, 127:977-983, 2017.

Keywords: Obstructive sleep apnea; continuous positive airway pressure compliance; cost-effectiveness analysis; nasal surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Decision Trees
  • Humans
  • Nasal Obstruction / surgery*
  • Nasal Surgical Procedures / economics*
  • Nasal Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*