Development of central sleep apnea after maxillofacial surgery for obstructive sleep apnea

Shawn Corcoran, Vincent Mysliwiec, Alexander S. Niven, David Fallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Central sleep apnea is a rarely reported complication of surgery for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We report the case of a 38-year-old male who developed marked central sleep apnea 3 months after a maxillomandibular advancement for moderate OSA, which spontaneously resolved on his 6-month postoperative polysomnogram. Five prior cases of this postoperative complication have been reported in nonobese individuals after tracheostomy for OSA. Additionally, a recent study demonstrated that patients with atmospheric pharyngeal closing pressures are susceptible to unstable ventilation. We hypothesize that latent high loop gain from chronic OSA, coupled with atmospheric pharyngeal closing pressures, predisposed our patient to develop unstable ventilation after an abrupt postoperative change in his ventilatory load. Our case supports delaying postoperative polysomnography ≥ 6 months in individuals at high risk for this complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-153
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2009


  • Central sleep apnea
  • Maxillomandibular advancement
  • Obstrucive sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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