Obstructive sleep apnoea and bariatric surgery.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is very common in people as they become overweight and in the morbidly obese although it can also occur in the normal weighted individual.
It occurs when the airway becomes more crowded leading to periods of obstruction as we sleep.
This is associated with loud snoring and then a pause with the patient then gasping for breath. During this time the body is stressed by a drop in oxygen saturation leading to a rise in BP, pulse rate and lightening of the sleep stage. Because this can happen hundreds of times a night it is no wonder that patients awake feeling unrefreshed and experience tiredness and hunger during the day.
Sleep Apnoea is associated with…
Obstructive sleep apnoea is associated with weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, loss of energy and loss of libido… also amongst your partner who may also have their sleep disturbed!
It can be diagnosed most reliably by a sleep study test which is usually conducted at home but several simple scoring tests (Epworth sleepiness scale and STOP BANG questionnaire) and measurement of neck diameter can predict its presence.
The Usual Treatment
The usual treatment recommended is weight loss and a variety of mouth based splints and in severe cases a breathing mask called CPAP.
CPAP mask is worn whilst you are sleeping and delivers a continuous flow of high pressure air which helps to keep the airway open and is usually very effective, but it doesn’t address the underling cause if it is due to obesity.
Benefits of weight loss surgery for sleep apnoea
It has repeatedly been demonstrated that Sleep apnoea improves in the majority of patients after weight loss. This usually occurs quite rapidly and continues to accrue over the first year where most weight loss occurs.
The majority of patients employing CPAP are able to abandon this treatment as their weight falls although this should always be supervised by a sleep physician as not all patients will experience sufficient improvement to do this.
In addition to relief of their sleep apnoea bariatric patients also experience all the other powerful benefits on their other comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and joint pain.
If you have morbid obesity and sleep apnoea you face a lifetime of CPAP use unless you do the one important thing to turn your condition around…..Lose weight!
There is simply no other surgery that in one operation can deliver so many benefits across the whole individual!
Mercy Bariatrics Perth
Call 08 9272 0420