Weight Loss Surgery for Sleep Apnea: 3 Major Types of Surgery


Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition experienced by many people who are overweight or obese. It causes short pauses in breathing while the person sleeps. These pauses can be as short as a few seconds, but people with serious sleep apnea may stop breathing for minutes at a time.

best-sleep-apnea-treatment-solutionsSleep apnea can cause dangerous side effects and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.

CPAP machines are common treatments for people with sleep apnea, but many people who are prescribed these machines fail to use them consistently because they are uncomfortable to use.

Weight loss surgery is another possible treatment for sleep apnea. Obesity is one of the most common causes of obstructive sleep apnea. Many people who undergo successful procedures see relief from their condition.

It is important to know about the types of gastric bypass surgery before you consult with a surgeon. Being well-informed helps you make the best decision for your health.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass SurgeryGetImage

The Roux-en-Y technique involves creating a small pouch in the stomach. This pouch can only accommodate a small amount of food, causing the person to eat less. The pouch is connected to the middle part of the small intestine.

In the post-surgical digestive system, food travels directly from the upper part of the stomach to the middle small intestine, avoiding the parts of the stomach and upper small intestine where most nutrients, fat and calories are absorbed.

Advantages of Roux-en-Y include:

  • Greater weight loss
  • Longest sustained weight loss
  • Relief from obesity-related conditions such as sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes

Risks of Roux-en-Y include:

  • Rapid weight loss may cause sagging skin
  • Dumping syndrome can occur after eating too much sugar or fat
  • Hair loss caused by insufficient protein intake

Laparoscopic Gastric Band

LGBThe gastric band is an adjustable band that is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create two separate sections. The effect is similar to Roux-en-Y surgery: a small pouch is created with the upper part of the stomach that restricts the amount of food the person can eat. Unlike Roux-en-Y, there is no cutting or restructuring of the stomach.

Advantages of the laparoscopic gastric band include:

  • Shortened recovery period, often only two weeks
  • No dumping syndrome
  • Gradual weight loss, reducing the likelihood of sagging skin, hair loss and other problems
  • Reversible through removal of the band
  • Adjustable band allows patient to increase or decrease the size of the artificial stomach pouch

Risks of the laparoscopic gastric band include:

  • Patients may need frequent follow-up visits for band adjustments as they become accustomed to living and eating with the band
  • Problems with the band, such as leaking or slipping
  • Stomach blockages

Laparoscopic Sleeve GastrectomySG

The sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve procedure involves removing most of the stomach. The part of the stomach that is removed is the curved part, leaving behind a sleeve of stomach tissue.

When the stomach is restructured in the gastric sleeve procedure, the part of the stomach that produces ghrelin is removed. Ghrelin causes feelings of hunger. By inhibiting the production of this hormone and reducing the amount of food that the person is capable of eating, the gastric sleeve works to alter eating habits permanently.

Advantages of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy include:

  • Digestive path remains intact, allowing the remaining stomach to digest food as normal and eliminating dumping syndrome and malnutrition
  • Can be performed safely on people with high body mass index, since the procedure is laparoscopic

Risks of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy include:

      • Weight loss may be slow or insufficient
      • Fluids may leak through staples
      • Disinterest in food or nausea from eating may occur

Interested in learning more about how to lose weight to reduce or cure sleep apnea? Please click here to get ‘Weight Loss For Sleep Apnea Program’.

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