Sleep Study May Help Avoid Complications After Tonsil/Adnoid Surgery

Pediatric adnotonsillectomy, or the removal of a child’s tonsils and adenoids, is a safe and relatively routine surgery for most patients.  However, a portion of those patients experience post-surgical complications.  New research suggests that conducting a sleep study before the surgery to check for occurrences of sleep apnea may actually reduce the number of patients experiencing problems.

The research, conducted at the George Washington University School of Medicine, conducted sleep studies on 151 patients prior to adnotonsillectomy surgery.  About 15% of these patients experienced adverse respiratory events after surgery.  The researchers noted that, based on their sleep studies, patients who experienced respiratory complications had significantly higher apnea-hypopnea index (provides an overall severity of sleep apnea including sleep disruptions or low levels of oxygen in the blood), higher hypopnea index (episodes of overly shallow breathing or abnormally low respiratory rates) and lower nadir oxygen saturation (the lowest level of oxygen saturation).

The researchers say that conducting sleep studies prior to surgery may help predict which patients will experience respiratory complications.  Overall, the patients who experienced adverse respiratory events spent an additional 22 days in the hospital beyond routine overnight observation for persons with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.

Source: Medical News Today