It has been said that you can address five diseases with one operation. No procedure other than weight loss surgery has the power to do that. Following surgery, the improvement rates for adult-onset diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hypercholesterolemia are remarkable. In many cases, these issues go fully into remission once the weight issue is addressed.
In the case of sleep apnea, for example, 93% of bariatric patients experience an improvement in their condition, while 74% see the condition resolved.
Sleep apnea, which affects more than 12 million Americans, is most common in older males who are overweight. Excess weight can cause fat deposits around the upper airway that may obstruct breathing.
People with untreated sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. It is a serious health disorder that can have significant consequences.
The sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur due to disrupted breathing increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. As a result, people with sleep apnea are two to three times more likely to have high blood pressure than those who don’t. For sleep apnea patients with underlying cardiac disease, multiple episodes of low blood oxygen can lead to cardiac arrest.
Other complications include extreme daytime sleepiness, which can lead to automobile or other types of accidents; an increased risk of stroke; problems with medications and surgery; mood swings; lack of focus; headaches; irritability; and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Clearly, sleep apnea is a condition that merits attention and treatment. For morbidly obese patients, bariatric surgery may provide a solution. Contact us to learn if bariatric surgery is right for you or someone you care about.