Untreated sleep apnea, especially if you’re obese, can exacerbate or cause more health issues. It can lead to cardiovascular problems, memory problems, impotence, and more weight gain.

Although one’s weight isn’t the only reason why one develops obstructive sleep apnea, obesity is still considered a very high-risk factor.

What happens during obstructive sleep apnea?
Normally, when we sleep there is a risk for the airway behind the tongue to collapse with every breath. For many people, this doesn’t happen as the muscles around the airway are strong enough to keep it from happening. However, for some people, the muscles around it aren’t adequate enough to prevent it. Hence, breathing stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep.

In adults, obesity is one of the most common causes of sleep apnea. Each unit of increase in one’s body mass index (BMI) is associated with a 14 percent increase in one’s risk of developing sleep apnea.

What are the signs and symptoms associated with sleep apnea?
Loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headache, nighttime sweating, abrupting awakening accompanied by gasping or choking, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating during the day are some of the most common signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.

How can bariatric surgery help?
Bariatric surgery is the only effective procedure that addresses both weight loss and comorbid conditions such as sleep apnea.

Several studies have shown that bariatric surgery can significantly improve or even cure obesity-related sleep apnea. In one study, for instance, it shows that the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among patients who underwent gastric bypass dropped to 44 percent (from 71 percent) in 12 months after the surgery.

Do you qualify for bariatric surgery?
If you’re obese and looking to improve your sleep and overall health, you may qualify for bariatric surgery if you meet the following criteria:

BMI of 40 or more (more than 100 lbs overweight)
BMI of 35 or more and at least one obesity-related comorbidity (e.g. type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension)
Inability to lose weight for a period of time with prior weight loss efforts

To get to know more about bariatric surgery and what it entails, we at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville require our patients to participate in our FREE info session. You can attend this educational seminar in-person and meet our bariatric surgeons and team. The live seminars are held twice a month at Fort Sanders Regional in Knoxville. If you are unable to attend, you may also view our seminar from the convenience of your couch anytime.

To attend an in-person session, call (865) 541-4500 to reserve your seat. Safe distancing guidelines will be followed, so space is limited.

To watch the online seminar, just complete the registration form found here.

If you have any questions about the seminars or the bariatric surgery process, please call our Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons office at (865) 984-3413.

Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.