The Benefits of Perioperative Screening for Sleep Apnea in Surgical Patients

Sleep Med Clin. 2017 Mar;12(1):123-135. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2016.10.003.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Untreated OSA can lead to about a 2-fold increase in medical expenses, mainly because of cardiovascular morbidity. OSA is highly prevalent in the surgical population, with an increased risk of perioperative complications. This article describes the perioperative and long-term social and economic benefits of preoperative screening for OSA. Screening patients to identify high-risk OSA is important to decrease the adverse outcomes and associated health care costs in the perioperative period. Screening for OSA is particularly relevant because most patients are undiagnosed at the time of surgery.

Keywords: Cost; OSA; Postoperative complications; Screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications / economics
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Preoperative Care / economics
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / economics
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / mortality
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy