Outcomes of Sleep Apnea Surgery in Outpatient and Inpatient Settings

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7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Upper airway surgery is an alternative treatment for patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, there is controversy regarding selection criteria for outpatient versus inpatient settings for these surgical procedures. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare postoperative outcomes of patients undergoing airway surgery in outpatient and inpatient settings based on length of stay at the facility. METHODS: The 2011–2017 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement databases were used to select adult patients with a diagnosis of OSA undergoing elective airway surgery procedures. Single-level (eg, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty [UPPP]) or multilevel surgery (eg, concomitant procedures on base of tongue, maxilla, palate, nose/turbinate, or tracheotomy) was identified using appropriate current procedural terminology (CPT) codes. Surgery setting was classified as outpatient (length of hospital stay = 0 days) or inpatient (length of stay ≥1 day). Propensity scores derived from logistic regression models were used to match inpatient to outpatient cases at a ratio of 1:1. Primary outcome was a composite of 30-day readmissions, reoperations, and/or postoperative complications. Outcomes between the matched groups were compared with McNemar’s tests and generalized mixed linear regression analyses. RESULTS: A total of 3208 cases were identified (1049 [32.7%] outpatient and 2159 [67.3%] inpatient). Inpatients were older, had more comorbidities, larger body mass index, and more multilevel procedures. UPPP was performed in about 96% of both inpatients and outpatients. The overall rate of composite of readmission, reoperations, and/or complications in the whole unmatched sample was 6.4% (6.8% and 5.5% in inpatients and outpatients, respectively). The propensity-matching algorithm produced a sample of 987 patients per surgical setting well balanced on available baseline characteristics. The incidence of the composite primary outcome was not significantly different between the groups (6.2% and 5.9% in inpatients and outpatients, respectively; odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval {CI}], 1.06 [0.73–1.53]; P = .77). CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective study found that the complications and 30-day readmission rates after airway surgery for OSA are low. There were no significant differences in the composite outcome of 30-day readmissions, reoperations, or complications between inpatient and outpatient settings. Adequately designed prospective studies are necessary to confirm the retrospective observations of this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1222
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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