Patients with sleep apnea have been shown to be at high risk for anesthesia. Studies show these patients have a difficult time when the breathing airway is inserted at the beginning of the surgery. They may suffer from injuries to the airway, lower oxygen levels in the blood, and admission to the ICU. These patients usually have large tongues, smaller airway openings and a larger neck.
These patients can be treated successfully with adequate preparation and monitoring. It is important for all patients with known Sleep Apnea to tell their anesthesia provider well in advance. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has published a statement on the necessary precautions for treatment of these patients. Talk to your doctor.