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Risk Factors Identified for Complications After Sleep Apnea Surgery

Risk Factors Identified for Complications After Sleep Apnea Surgery

SEATTLE, Oct. 16 -- Surgery to correct obstructive sleep apnea (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) is more likely to have complications if the conditions is severe, a concurrent retrolingual procedure is done, BMI is high, or there are medical comorbidities, found a VA study.

After uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, each additional illness besides sleep apnea almost doubled the risk of serious complications, and having a concurrent non-nasal procedure increased the complication risk almost fivefold compared with noncurrent procedures, according to a report in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery.

However, because of the low complication rate in this study, it was not possible to determine individual significance of the risks and whether they were independent of one another, said Edward Weaver, M.D., of the University of Washington here and colleagues. The cumulative complication risk of having a current separate retrolingual procedure is also unknown, he added.

Previous multisite studies of patients who had surgery for obstructive sleep apnea have found an overall 1.6% rate of serious complications, including a 0.2% 30-day mortality rate. But previous reports of risk factors for complications have been conflicting, Dr. Weaver's team said

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