Admission of Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Undergoing Ambulatory Surgery in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2022 Sep;131(9):941-945. doi: 10.1177/00034894211048783. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Objectives: Within Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients are frequently encountered. To implement policies and screening measures for admission of OSA patients undergoing ambulatory surgery, actual rates of admission must first be determined. We aimed to evaluate rates and reasons for admission of OSA patients after ambulatory OHNS surgery.

Methods: Retrospective chart review was undertaken of all OSA patients undergoing elective day-surgery OHNS procedures at a tertiary center from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019. The primary outcome measure was percentage of OSA patients admitted to hospital after ambulatory OHNS surgery. Secondary outcome measures included reasons for admission. American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score, perioperative complications, and patient demographics were captured.

Results: There were 118 OSA patients, out of 1942 cases performed during the review period. Thirty-eight were excluded as the procedures were not considered ambulatory. The remaining 80 OSA patients were included for analysis, with an average age of 51.7, SD 13.8, and 30 (38%) females. The admission rate was 47.5% (38/80 patients). Admitted patients were older (P = .0061), and had higher ASA (P = .039). Indication for surgery or type of surgery did not differ among admitted and non-admitted patients. The majority of patients, 97% (37/38 patients), were admitted for post-operative monitoring.

Conclusion: More than half of OSA patients did not require admission to hospital after ambulatory OHNS surgery, unaffected by indications for surgery or type of surgery. Higher ASA score and older age were found in admitted as compared to non-admitted patients.

Keywords: Otolaryngology; admission; obstructive sleep apnea; peri-operative; surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Otolaryngology*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / surgery