Body mass index predicts success in patients undergoing transoral robotic surgery for obstructive sleep apnea.

Research paper by Paul T PT Hoff, Tiffany A TA Glazer, Matthew E ME Spector

Indexed on: 22 Nov '14Published on: 22 Nov '14Published in: ORL; journal for oto-rhino-laryngology and its related specialties


To determine the predictors of success in patients undergoing transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and multilevel procedures for the management of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS).A total of 121 patients (83 male, 38 female) underwent TORS between 2010 and 2013. All patients had robotic assisted lingual tonsillectomy, either as stand-alone surgery or in combination with palatal Z-plasty, lateral pharyngoplasty or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and body mass index (BMI) were measured preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively. Success was defined as AHI <20 and a decrease in AHI by 50%.There was a significant difference in the preoperative and postoperative AHI in the entire cohort (42.7 vs. 22.2; p < 0.001). Overall, 84.3% of patients had an improvement in their AHI, 51.2% of patients met the criteria for success, and 14% met the criteria for cure defined as AHI <5. When stratifying by BMI, there was a significant difference in success when comparing patients with a BMI <30 versus those with a BMI >30 (69.4 vs. 41.7%; p = 0.004). The cure rate was 15.3% in patients with a BMI <30 and 11.1% in those with a BMI >30 (p = 0.54).TORS lingual tonsillectomy and multilevel procedures were successful in treating moderate-to-severe OSAHS in selected patients. Preoperative BMI helps the clinician to predict success in these patients, with two thirds of patients having a clinically useful benefit.