Sleep Apnea, Excess Weight and Bariatric Surgery
Sleep apnea describes interrupted sleep caused by partial or complete closure of the airway during sleep. Overweight and obese patients may suffer from mild to significant sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is particularly common obese patients because the excess fat in the back throat is often to blame for the development or worsening of the condition.
Many patients suffering from sleep apnea come to our office for their first consultation complaining of poor sleep, drowsiness during the day and even falling asleep at inopportune or dangerous times. Spouses and significant others typically describe loud snoring from the patient.
Further complicating long-term resolution of sleep apnea is the first line of treatment of the symptoms of sleep apnea– A CPAP machine. These machines can be very uncomfortable and are not easy to lug around. Further, they do not treat the underlying cause of sleep apnea – they just relieve symptoms, but only for as long as the CPAP is in use.
Some patients, do not realize how disruptive sleep apnea can be. They typically make their way through the day with several cups of coffee and drag themselves work despite being very tired. And as the sleep apnea gets worse, bad things begin to happen. For example, patients falling asleep at the wheel at a red light is not uncommon. Sleep apnea can also increase the risk of atrial fibrillation – an irregular heartbeat – that is a significant risk factor for stroke.
Typically, when we suspect you have sleep apnea, we send you for a sleep study. During the sleep study, you sleep at a facility overnight. The facility monitors your breathing and sleep quality. If sleep apnea is diagnosed, bariatric surgery can help.
By virtue of reducing the amount of fat in the body, bariatric surgery is also very effective in combating sleep apnea. Often times, patients finds themselves better able to get through the day without taking a nap or falling asleep accidentally. They also significantly reduce their risk of the irregular heartbeat. And sleep apnea is just one several conditions associated with obesity many of which will be improved or eliminated after surgery.
If you find yourself tired throughout the day, finding it difficult to keep up and or if your spouse or significant other is complaining of very loud snoring noises at night, considering a bariatric procedure baby the right option for you.Back To All Posts