Sleep apnea is a condition involving frequent interruptions in sleep due to the involuntary cessation of breathing, leading to disruption of vital recuperative sleep patterns. Obese individuals with a BMI of 35 or higher have an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea. If the individual can successfully reduce weight through bariatric surgery or other means, it can mitigate the problem of sleep apnea.
A complex relationship exists between obesity, sleep apnea and metabolic syndrome, and in many cases, it may be mutually reinforcing. The Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery, led by eminent bariatric surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre, provides surgical solutions to weight reduction, which can resolve sleep apnea. The center receives patients from Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Central Florida, and surrounding communities.
Addressing the condition of sleep apnea through weight reduction with bariatric surgery will require a comprehensive and holistic treatment approach. This includes providing proper patient education, applying cutting edge surgical and medical interventions, and delivering personalized care and support to the patient.
To begin with, the surgeon will determine the possible link between overweight or obesity of the patient and their complaint of constant fatigue, lack of energy, and disturbed sleep patterns. Once the link is clearly established the bariatric surgeon will develop a comprehensive treatment plan to help resolve the twin issues of obesity and sleep apnea.
Studies show that the relationship between obesity and sleep apnea may be viciously progressive. On the one hand, obesity can lead to sleep apnea because the airway of an obese person may be obstructed by large tonsils, an enlarged tongue, and higher neck fat deposits. These conditions can put more pressure on the throat muscles during sleep.
On the other hand, sleep apnea can contribute to obesity because it promotes fatigue and increased appetite due to loss of sleep. Dr. Beltre provides advanced surgical treatments for weight loss with an aim to provide permanent relief from conditions such as sleep apnea.
Resolving Sleep Apnea with Weight Loss
In many cases, the first step in achieving reduction in sleep apnea is to lose weight through bariatric surgery. As the patient begins to lose considerable amount of weight following the surgery, the respiratory function continues to improve. This allows for increasingly normalized sleep patterns and diminishing sleep apnea.
In the early stages, the patient will need support through procedures such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to reduce sleep apnea. Following bariatric surgery, the symptoms of sleep apnea may not resolve immediately, and CPAP treatment may have to be continued for some time. However, as the fat tissue deposits around the neck are gradually removed, it will reduce the pressure on throat muscles and clear blockages. This will help to reduce sleep apnea without the involvement of CPAP.
This improvement will trigger a positive feedback loop. As the sleep improves, the patient’s appetite and eating habits will be easier to control and physical exercise will increase. This will support the weight loss process, which in turn, will further help to eliminate sleep apnea.
Please note: If the weight is regained conditions could return.