Patients who undergo surgery for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have acceptable perioperative morbidity that is similar to that seen in other sleep-related surgical procedures.
To perform the first large-scale evaluation of perioperative management and postoperative complications in patients who undergo transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for OSA.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Retrospective cohort study from 2010 to 2013 of 166 adult patients with moderate to severe OSA (defined as apnea-hypopnea index, >20) who had experienced failure of conventional therapy with positive airway pressure and underwent TORS at an academic practice with follow-up greater than 3 months.
Transoral robotic surgery with or without additional multilevel airway procedures.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Major and minor complication rates.
There were 122 men and 44 women with a mean (SD) age of 54.6 (12.3) years. The mean (SD) American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score was 2.3 (0.5). There were 11 major complications, including secondary bleeding requiring intervention (7 patients), pulmonary embolism requiring anticoagulation therapy (2 patients), aspiration requiring prolonged hospitalization (1 patient), and dysphagia resulting in gastrostomy tube dependence (1 patient). There were 32 minor complications, including dehydration and/or uncontrolled pain (16 patients), globus sensation (8 patients), bleeding (5 patients), lip burn (2 patients), and pharyngeal laceration during intubation (1 patient); the majority resolved without sequelae. Preoperative ASA score (P = .003) and number of procedures performed (P = .004) predicted a postoperative complication. Age (P = .29), body mass index (P = .55), apnea-hypopnea index (P = .67), lowest arterial oxygen saturation (P = .63), number of comorbidities (P = .46), and individual comorbidities did not predict a complication.
Conclusions and Relevance
Transoral robotic surgery can be safely performed in patients with OSA with an acceptable complication rate. Complications are similar to those seen with other surgical treatments of OSA and were only predicted by ASA score and number of procedures performed.