Weight loss surgery is a way to reduce the symptoms of many conditions which are caused by obesity, such as type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnoea is one of these conditions. Despite seeming unrelated to each other on the surface, obesity and sleep apnoea are quite closely linked to each other. Whilst it can affect people of all ages and weights, it is far more common in those over 40 and overweight, obese, or suffering from morbid obesity.
What is sleep apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is a common disorder characterised by pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for several seconds and can occur up to 30 times an hour. Each time you stop breathing, the amount of oxygen in your blood decreases. This decrease in oxygen can lead to numerous health problems.
During a sleep apnoea episode, the chest muscles and diaphragm work harder to open the closed airway, and large changes in one’s blood pressure can also occur. When breathing resumes, it starts with a loud gasp or your body jerking. This in turn can decrease sleep quality.
Does obesity cause sleep apnoea?
Obesity does not specifically cause sleep apnoea, but it is one of the main factors behind sleep apnoea developing in a patient. Therefore, bariatric surgery can have a positive effect on obese people who suffer from the condition as it helps them to lose excess weight. Whilst it may not be the answer to a patient’s sleep apnoea, it can have a positive effect on the condition.
The link between obesity and sleep apnoea
Untreated sleep apnoea is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, heart rhythm irregularities, heart attacks and strokes. All of these conditions are also associated with obesity in addition to high cholesterol.
In a study by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, it was discovered that about 85% of people who have sleep apnoea are obese. The condition affects 25% of men and 10% of women.
Given the link between obesity and developing sleep apnoea, it follows that if the patient loses enough weight they will no longer suffer from this condition.
Can weight loss surgery help obstructive sleep apnoea?
Weight loss surgery is not a magic bullet for all obesity-related conditions, but it can have a positive effect. In that same study by the Cleveland Clinic, it was also seen that bariatric surgery was the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea of the treatments tested, as it caused the remission of sleep apnoea in over 80% of cases identified in the study.
Bariatric surgery in Perth
Various types of weight loss surgeries can assist with your sleep apnoea in the long term, whilst also assisting with one’s weight loss journey. These include gastric bypass, SADI-S, SASI-S, the duodenal switch, and sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) surgery.
Weight loss surgery in Perth
Dr Kevin Dolan is a bariatric surgeon and general surgeon who operates in Perth and is recognised as a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He has over 20 years of experience in obesity surgery and helping people lose weight to become the best version of themselves possible.
If you want to take the first step to weight loss, contact Dr Dolan by clicking here.
The entire team at WALOS in Perth will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have about your weight loss journey.