Can Bariatric Surgery Help to Reduce Snoring?
By Fernando Garcia on July 18, 2016
While bariatric surgery is, first and foremost, intended to promote massive weight loss in people who are struggling with morbid obesity, bariatric procedures can accomplish far more than that. Bariatric surgery can also help to reduce the risk of an entire host of conditions that are associated with obesity. These strongly related conditions, clinically known as comorbidities, include such potentially life-threatening diseases as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and gallbladder disease. By losing substantial amounts of weight, people who undergo bariatric surgery can dramatically decrease their risk for these comorbidities and improve their chances of living longer, healthier lives.
One of the comorbidities of obesity that is not as well-known as the above-listed is sleep apnea, the most notable symptom of which is heavy snoring. Many of the patients who turn to Dr. Fernando Garcia and Dr. David Vazquez of Tijuana Bariatrics have loved ones who complain of their snoring and ask whether weight loss will help to improve matters. The answer is quite possibly. In discussing bariatric surgery and snoring at our Tijuana, BC bariatric center, our surgeons inform patients and their loved ones that if snoring is caused by sleep apnea, then bariatric surgery could help to improve the condition. However, it also may not, even if the patient reaches his or her target weight.
How Are Snoring, Sleep Apnea, and Obesity Related?
First, let’s discuss the relationship between snoring and sleep apnea. While snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, it is important to note that not all snoring is caused by sleep apnea. Snoring can result from the natural anatomy of a person’s mouth and sinuses; some people snore due to alcohol consumption or smoking. Poor sleeping habits can also result in snoring.
Snoring that results from sleep apnea is also accompanied by pauses in breathing that can last for several seconds. These pauses are often quite obvious because they will interrupt the heavy snoring; there will usually be a sudden silence followed by an explosive snore signifying that breathing has resumed. These interruptions can occur dozens and potentially hundreds of times each night. Sleep apnea not only deprives a person from getting a proper night’s sleep, but it also poses a great many dangers to his or her health. Like obesity, there are many conditions closely linked with sleep apnea, including diabetes and glaucoma.
As stated above, sleep apnea is a comorbidity of obesity. This means that it is closely related. One study demonstrated that people who are morbidly obese are ten times more likely to have sleep apnea than the general population. However, obesity does not cause sleep apnea, even though it may contribute to it. This means that, while bariatric surgery may lower the risk of sleep apnea among those who do not have the condition, and it may help to alleviate or even eliminate the condition and its symptoms among those who do have the condition, it should not be considered a cure for sleep apnea. It does not address the cause; it only addresses a comorbid condition.
Nevertheless, the likelihood of symptoms improving after massive weight loss is quite high.
Learn More about Bariatric Surgery and Snoring
To learn more about bariatric surgery and snoring, please contact Tijuana Bariatrics today.