PURPOSE: Adverse surgical outcomes may occur more frequently in patients with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Despite this concern, there have been no prospective studies using objective measures of postoperative SDB to determine the scope of the problem. We designed a prospective study to determine the feasibility of identifying SDB in elective postoperative patients by the use of a type IV portable monitor (PM). METHODS: Patients >18 years old who presented for elective surgery with at least one postoperative hospital night on a non-monitored unit were enrolled and wore a type IV device that measured nasal flow, heart rate, and oxygen saturation on their first postoperative night. Respiratory disturbance index (RDI) and oxygen desaturation index (ODI) were generated for each patient. RESULTS: Data sufficient for interpretation were collected on 100/116 patients enrolled. SDB (RDI ≥5) was observed in 51% of the study group, and 17% had a RDI >15. An elevated ODI ≥5 was seen in 42%, while 17% had an ODI ≥15. Device malfunction occurred in 16% of the study participants. CONCLUSION: A type IV PM can be employed in the postoperative setting to detect and gauge the severity of SDB.