Perioperative management of obstructive sleep apnea in bariatric surgery: a consensus guideline

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2017 Jul;13(7):1095-1109. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2017.03.022. Epub 2017 Mar 30.


Background: The frequency of metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) is increasing worldwide, with over 500,000 cases performed every year. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is present in 35%-94% of MBS patients. Nevertheless, consensus regarding the perioperative management of OSA in MBS patients is not established.

Objectives: To provide consensus based guidelines utilizing current literature and, when in the absence of supporting clinical data, expert opinion by organizing a consensus meeting of experts from relevant specialties.

Setting: The meeting was held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Methods: A panel of 15 international experts identified 75 questions covering preoperative screening, treatment, postoperative monitoring, anesthetic care and follow-up. Six researchers reviewed the literature systematically. During this meeting, the "Amsterdam Delphi Method" was utilized including controlled acquisition of feedback, aggregation of responses and iteration.

Results: Recommendations or statements were provided for 58 questions. In the judgment of the experts, 17 questions provided no additional useful information and it was agreed to exclude them. With the exception of 3 recommendations (64%, 66%, and 66% respectively), consensus (>70%) was reached for 55 statements and recommendations. Several highlights: polysomnography is the gold standard for diagnosing OSA; continuous positive airway pressure is recommended for all patients with moderate and severe OSA; OSA patients should be continuously monitored with pulse oximetry in the early postoperative period; perioperative usage of sedatives and opioids should be minimized.

Conclusion: This first international expert meeting provided 58 statements and recommendations for a clinical consensus guideline regarding the perioperative management of OSA patients undergoing MBS.

Keywords: Anesthesia; Bariatric surgery; Consensus guideline; Continuous positive airway pressure; Obstructive sleep apnea; Postoperative monitoring.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare / methods
  • Anesthesia / methods
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods
  • Humans
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Perioperative Care / methods*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*