Obesity and outcomes in patients undergoing upper airway surgery for obstructive sleep apnea

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 11;17(8):e0272331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272331. eCollection 2022.


OBJECTIVE: Obesity is frequently debated as a factor associated with increased postoperative complications. Specifically, upper airway surgeries for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common comorbidity among obese patients, may be complicated by obesity’s impact on intraoperative ventilation. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze the association of various degrees of obesity with postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing surgery for OSA.

METHODS: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement database between 2015 and 2019 was used to create a sample of patients diagnosed with OSA who underwent uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, tracheotomy, and surgeries at the base of tongue, maxilla, palate, or nose/turbinate. Inverse probability-weighted logistic regression and unadjusted multivariable logistic regression were used to compare outcomes of non-obese and obesity class 1, class 2, and class 3 groups (World Health Organization classification). Primary outcome was a composite of 30-day readmissions, reoperations, and/or postoperative complications, and a secondary outcome was all-cause same-day hospital admission.

RESULTS: There were 1929 airway surgeries identified. The inverse probability-weighted regression comparing class 1, class 2, and class 3 obesity groups to non-obese patients showed no association between obesity and composite outcome and no association between obesity and hospital admission (all p-values > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: These results do not provide evidence that obesity is associated with poorer outcomes or hospital admission surrounding upper airway surgery for OSA. While these data points towards the safety of upper airway surgery in obese patients with OSA, larger prospective studies will aid in elucidating the impact of obesity.

PMID:35951502 | PMC:PMC9371252 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0272331


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