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Question 24 - What would happen if I have sleep apnea and faint?

From: K. A.

Surgery doc:


I have sleep apnea. What happen if one day I faint? How is my body going to respond? Will I be choked.

I am going for some minor surgery and the doctor said I will be sedated. Would that be dangerous for a apnea sufferer since my body won’t Wake me up when I stop breathing?



Answer Provided by Dr. Kasey Li
Oct 23, 2007

Fainting and sleep apnea are separate issues. Obviously, if you faint and are unconscious, you will have some airway obstruction due to sleep apnea.

It is important for your doctor to know that you have sleep apnea. Since the airway of patients with sleep apnea is compromised, it is more risky for them to undergo sedation. You need to be closely monitored by an anesthesiologist.

The more severe the sleep apnea, the greater the risk. You may also need to be observed in the hospital overnight after the operation.

Good luck.


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