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Gastric Bypass Surgery - Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

By Dr. Atul N.C. Peters in Metabolic And Bariatric Surgery

Sep 16 , 2021 | 1 min read

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of breathing problem associated with obesity. Too much fat around the neck and throat chokes our breathing during sleep so that our breathing becomes shallow and when we are deep in sleep we stop breathing all together which is called as apnea.

These apneic spells occur every night and vary with different individuals. When it becomes worse, this mechanism happens in day time also.  Apneic episodes cause daytime sleepiness, hypertension, and increased risk of stroke, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.

The mainstay of treatment has been C Pap or BiPaP therapy in such people suffering from OSA.

 Since obesity is a major risk factor for development of OSA, research has repeatedly confirmed that weight loss results in improvement of obstructive sleep apnoea in most.  

Weight loss improves not only OSA but also heart disorders and metabolic consequences related to both OSA and obesity. Bariatric or Gastric Bypass surgery is an effective treatment of severe or complicated obesity, and improves dramatically the cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic markers in majority.

 It is now accepted all over the world that treatment of OSA cannot be limited to any single strategy, but rather requires a multidisciplinary approach, among which weight loss surgery has a major role.

It has been demonstrated that patients experiencing the benefits of surgery-induced weight loss like improved mobility, stamina, cardiovascular status, diabetes, may feel well and believe that their OSA is “cured.”  Clinically it is seen that even moderate OSA can lead to cardiovascular complications of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, increased risk of stroke, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Therefore, diagnostic sleep testing with polysomnography must be repeated when a goal weight or stable weight is attained after gastric bypass surgery, as only follow-up polysomnography can identify patients who have achieved resolution of OSA.

According to Dr. Atul NC Peters, Director, Department of Bariatric, Minimal Access and General Surgery, Max Smart Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, after your Gastric Bypass Surgery, please do not stop using your C Pap or Bi Pap machine even when you are feeling good and feel that you no longer need them.