Get Screened for Sleep Apnea Before Surgery

If you are scheduling a surgery in the near future, it is important to schedule a sleep apnea screening prior to undergoing the surgery. According to a study released in the October 2014 issues of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) should get tested and treated for the condition prior to the surgery. This sleep disorder affects millions of people and many of these people are unaware of their condition. The lead author of the study reported that people diagnosed and treated for OSA before their surgery can decrease their chances of cardiovascular complications during the surgery.

The study recorded outcomes from people in three categories. The first category was the control which including people without sleep apnea. The other two were patients that were treated for OSA prior to the surgery and those that were treated for OSA after the surgery. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Thomas Mutter, “OSA is a common disorder that affects millions and is associated with an increased risk of surgical complications, but the condition often goes unrecognized…As many as 25 percent of surgical patients may have OSA, but the vast majority of these patients aren’t treated.”

After comparing over 4, 200 cases, it was found that people with untreated OSA had an increased risk for both heart and breathing problems. Those with untreated OSA developed cardiovascular complications and those treated with CPAP prior to surgery were “less than half as likely to experience cardiovascular complications such as cardiac arrest or shock.” It is worth noting those with OSA were also twice as likely to experience respiratory complications. This is a very important finding for anyone looking at a surgery in the near future. Also, because a majority of surgeries are emergency procedures, it is important to detect any sleep disorders you may have prior to anesthesia.

It is estimated that approximately 16 million Americans with OSA remain undiagnosed for the condition. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, especially if you have other health conditions, schedule an appointment with the doctors at FusionSleep to get a diagnosis. Some of the symptoms you may be experiencing on a nightly basis include snoring, sleepiness during the day, and pauses in breathing during sleep. You will improve your quality of sleep and overall health when your obstructive sleep apnea gets treated.