Bariatric Patients with Sleep Apnea Face Higher Risk of Complications

Bariatric surgery can reduce or resolve many health conditions. But, two new studies show that bariatric patients with sleep apnea still risk complications after their procedure.

bariatric-surgery-no-cure-for-sleep-apneaWeight loss surgery is thought to lower the risk of some long-term illnesses. But studies show that bariatric patients with sleep apnea still risk complications after their procedure.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases funded a two-year study on more than 4,700 bariatric surgery patients throughout ten medical centers. This study revealed that only 4.1 percent of the patients had some kind of major negative outcome in the first month after surgery. And, less than half of one percent of patients died.

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But, many patients who suffered from sleep apnea before their operation continued to have complications afterward. In a different study on 24 weight loss surgery patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, all showed improvement of the condition after surgery. But by the end of the first year, the progress had disappeared in all but one of the patients. The findings suggest that if a patient’s sleep apnea is severe enough, even bariatric surgery can’t be expected to fully reverse it.

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