The present study compares flow parameters (pressure drop, velocity, and shear stress) in the upper airway between pre- and post-bariatric surgery obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. CT images of the upper airway were obtained prior to and six months post bariatric surgery in patients with a comorbid OSA. In-house software was used to reconstruct 3D geometric models of the upper airway, and fluid flow simulations were conducted using commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. Results show that pressure drop in the upper airway and velocity at the throat decrease post-surgery. Shear stress on the airway walls also decreased markedly. These trends were expected, however more patients must be analyzed and correlations must be drawn between these fluid dynamic parameters and the pathophysiology of the upper airway in OSA.

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