If you are overweight and struggling with sleep apnea, you are not alone. It is estimated that over 12 million Americans are obese and many of those millions suffer with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious chronic condition and it can often go unnoticed. Sleep apnea can be very dangerous and is linked to several health issues including premature death.
With sleep apnea the upper airway becomes blocked while sleeping. A person falls asleep, and the oropharynx muscles in the back of the throat relaxes, allowing soft tissue to block the sleeper’s airway. The blockage causes a brief cessation in breathing, which jolts the sleeper awake. The pattern continues night after night leaving the individual tired and without restorative sleep.
How can weight loss surgery help your sleep apnea?
People who lose 10 to 20 percent of their body weight can reduce their Apnea-Hypopnea Index score by at least 25%. While those who have bariatric surgery can cut that score down by 70%. Sleeve gastrectomy improves OSA
( obstructive sleep apnea) symptoms, sleep parameters, and decreases the need and pressure of CPAP in OSA patients with morbid obesity.
Most common weight loss surgeries
- Gastric bypass surgery - Gastric bypass surgery is a surgery that shrinks the size of your stomach. Your surgeon then re-routes, or creates a bypass of a portion of your digestive system so you don’t absorb as much of the food you have eaten.
- Gastric sleeve surgery - With Gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon makes your stomach much smaller and removes the area where the hunger hormone, ghrelin, is located reducing cravings and allowing you to be satisfied with less food.
The connection between OSA and weight is well established and being overweight is considered one of the primary risks of sleep apnea. Therefore, it’s not surprising that studies consistently show that weight loss and weight loss surgery helps reduce the severity of sleep apnea. Improving the quality of your sleep by reducing your sleep apnea and weight loss both have unlimited health benefits.
Talk with your Doctor today to see if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery!
Dr. Arif Ahmad specializes in the laparoscopic gastric bypass, lap band and sleeve gastrectomy. He is renowned in the Long Island area for his impeccable track record of safety and success. Dr Ahmad conducts patient education sessions every two weeks at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson and in varying locations across Suffolk County. Please call (631) 689-0220 if you wish to register or have other questions.