Considerable controversy exists about the perioperative management of patients at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in free-standing clinics. Eighty-eight percent of an American Society of Anesthesiologists expert panel felt that upper abdominal laparoscopic surgery could not be performed safely on an outpatient basis. We sought to review the incidence of major adverse events after outpatient laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) in a high risk population for OSA at a free-standing facility. Research Ethics Board approval was obtained and charts were reviewed retrospectively for 2,370 LAGB performed at a free-standing clinic between 2005 and 2009. In this observational cohort study, patients were classified as high risk for OSA if they received continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for OSA pre-operatively or had a history of at least three STOP-BANG criteria. Follow-up was verified and adverse events reviewed, including death, unanticipated transfer or admission to hospital within 30 days. A total of 746 of the 2,370 patients (31%) met criteria for or were at high risk for OSA (357 received CPAP for OSA and 389 by STOP-BANG criteria). The incidence of transient desaturation to less than 93% was 39.5%. There were no deaths and no cases of respiratory failure or re-intubation. The 30-day mortality was zero and the 30-day anesthesia related morbidity was less than 0.5%. For patients at high risk for OSA after LAGB, the significance of transient oxygen desaturation and the need to develop monitoring and admission standards remain to be determined.
Sleep apnea Obstructive Ambulatory care facilities Obesity
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We acknowledge the assistance of the following individuals during data collection, analysis, and document preparation: Dr. Bob Babak and Mrs. Rubina Jan.
Dr. Cobourn is a consultant with Allergan and has received an unrestricted research grant and speaking honoraria. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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