While a sleep apnea diagnosis may not seem like a major health concern, it could be an issue if you are contemplating surgery. New evidence suggests that patients tested and treated for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are less likely to experience serious heart conditions or shock during a surgical procedure. 1 It is recommended to get screened for sleep apnea before surgery so patients and their doctors are aware of all potential health conditions before receiving any type of serious procedure.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes the airway to close during sleep. The temporary blockage causes patients to awake suddenly gasping for air throughout the night. Long-term sleep apnea causes chronic sleep loss and can lead to more serious health conditions. Symptoms of sleep apnea include but are not limited to are:
- Extreme daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring/breathing
- Mood swings
Why Is a Sleep Apnea Test Important Before Undergoing Surgery?
Because sleep apnea affects respiration during sleep, individuals with untreated OSA under anesthesia during surgery may experience “apneas” or episodes in which the airway collapses. The narrowed airway increases the risk of cardiac arrest and shock during the operation. Some other potential complications during or after surgery if sleep apnea goes undiagnosed include but is not limited to:
- High blood pressure
- Oxygen deficiency
- Irregular heartbeat
Research has shown that individuals who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and treated for the condition reduce their risk of complications during surgery.
Is A Home Sleep Apnea Test Sufficient for Surgery?
About 16 million of those people with sleep apnea remain undiagnosed, which leaves them at risk when entering the operating room for a major surgical procedure. Fortunately, a sleep apnea test is easy to take at home.
A diagnosis before surgery is simple enough for anyone wondering if they have sleep apnea. Home sleep apnea tests are rapidly replacing in lab tests as the at-home diagnosis by board-certified sleep physicians is just as accurate, more convenient, and less expensive.
How Can I Get Tested for Sleep Apnea at Home?
You can get a sleep apnea diagnosis quickly and easily at home with Sleep Care Online.
- With the Complete Care Package, schedule a 15-minute telehealth visit with a healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms, upcoming sleep study, test results, and treatment options.
- A multi-night, disposable home sleep apnea test is mailed to your home to be completed at your convenience.
- A physician analyzes the sleep data and provides a prescription if needed.
- Schedule an optional follow-up appointment (additional fee applies).
- We connect you to sleep experts who can offer customized sleep therapy options, assistance in equipment purchase, and initial set-up.
- Science Daily. Sleep apnea screening before surgery recommended by experts. American Society of Anesthesiologists. September 2014. Accessed February 2021.