Discharge after tonsillectomy in pediatric sleep apnea patients

Regina Rodman, Mitchell Boehnke, Naren Venkatesan, Harold Pine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Outpatient tonsillectomy has gained favor in recent years, however patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome have been excluded from outpatient surgery criteria. It is the practice of the senior author to discharge patients after tonsillectomy with a respiratory disturbance or apnea hypopnea index of 5 or less. The purpose of this study is to examine the respiratory complication rate based on respiratory disturbance or apnea hypopnea index, and co-morbidities in order to determine which pediatric patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome can be safely discharged after tonsillectomy. Methods: All patients undergoing tonsillectomy with the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea made by polysomnography by a single surgeon from 2008 to 2011 were included. Decision to admit was based on respiratory disturbance or apnea hypopnea index, body mass index, and comorbidities. All inpatient notes, phone calls, and follow up visit documentation were monitored and reviewed for post operative complications. Results: 104 patients were included, 74 patients were admitted post operatively, and 30 were discharged home. There were no complications in the group that was discharged home. In the group that was admitted, there was two minor and two intermediate complications, including desaturations to 92% and 83% requiring oxygen, and wheezing requiring breathing treatment. All complications occurred in patients with respiratory disturbance or apnea hypopnea index of 11 or greater. Conclusion: Our data suggest there is a correlation between higher respiratory disturbance or apnea hypopnea index and post operative complications. Patients with an RDI of <5.0, and minimal co-morbidities can be safely discharged home following tonsillectomy for OSAHS. Complications related to sleep apnea were not seen in patients with RDI <11.0, suggesting that patients with an RDI between 5 and 10, who are not obese and have no significant comorbidities may also be sent home after surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-685
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Volume77
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Keywords

  • Hypoxia
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Outpatient
  • Polysomnography
  • Post operative complications
  • Tonsillectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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