Benefits of bariatric surgery for sleep apnoea negligible, researchers find

October 8, 2012, Monash University
New research shows although bariatric surgery results in greater weight loss than conventional measures, this does not translate into significantly greater improvement in obstructive sleep apnoea.

(Medical Xpress)—Although bariatric surgery results in greater weight loss than conventional measures, new research shows this does not translate into significantly greater improvement in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Researchers from Monash University, the Alfred Hospital and Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute conducted the first high-quality, randomised trial comparing the effect on OSA of surgical and medically-supervised weight loss in severely .

The results, which show negligible statistical advantage of in terms of treating OSA, are published in the .

OSA is a condition affecting almost five per cent of the Australian population, in which a person stops breathing for periods of time during their normal cycle. It is caused by obstruction to the upper airway by a floppiness or heaviness around the face and neck and in some patients, obesity is thought to be a cause of the condition.

Head of Obesity Research at Monash and Baker IDI, Associate Professor John Dixon, and Professor Matthew Naughton, a sleep specialist at Monash and Alfred Health, led the research.

Participants were recruited from sleep centres where they had been recently diagnosed with moderate to severe OSA and all had a of between 35 and 55. Both groups - surgical and conventional weight loss - were followed up every four to six weeks for two years.

The participants who underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) achieved an average two-year weight loss of approximately 20 per cent of their initial weight. The conventional group, who were provided with tailored dietary, exercise and behavioural programs, lost on average almost three per cent of their body weight over the two-year period.

Associate Professor Dixon said the dramatic differences in weight loss were not reflected in improvements in OSA, which was comprehensively monitored using polysomnography.

"Both groups experienced a reduction in OSA severity, but the difference between the surgical group and the conventional group was surprisingly small, given the weight loss disparity, and the majority still needed their CPAP machines during sleep," Associate Professor Dixon said.

"Our research confirmed that weight loss is associated with reduction in OSA, but it's a complex relationship. The effects vary greatly between individuals. It seems that the largest improvement in OSA, is associated with mild to moderate, rather than extreme weight loss."

The researchers urged caution in advising patients on the benefits of for OSA reduction and that OSA therapies should be continued until the patient is properly assessed.

Explore further: Bariatric patients with obstructive sleep apnea fail to show symptoms

More information: … px?articleid=1360864

Related Stories

Bariatric patients with obstructive sleep apnea fail to show symptoms

August 9, 2012
A Rhode Island Hospital researcher has found that the majority of bariatric surgery patients being treated for obesity have clinically significant obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but report fewer symptoms than other sleep ...

Review of multilevel surgery in patients with obstructive sleep apnea

March 19, 2012
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea who undergo surgery for their condition should be closely monitored after their procedures are performed but may not need to be in an intensive care unit, according to a report published ...

Recommended for you

Synthetic cannabinoid reduces sleep apnea

November 29, 2017
A synthetic version of a molecule found in the cannabis plant was safe and effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea in the first large, multi-site study of a drug for the sleep disorder funded by the National Institutes ...

Sleeping through the snoring: Researchers identify neurons that rouse the brain to breathe

November 2, 2017
A common and potentially serious sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea affects at least one quarter of U.S. adults and is linked to increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. In a paper published today ...

Remede system approved for sleep apnea

October 9, 2017
(HealthDay)—The Remede sleep system, an implanted device that treats central sleep apnea by activating a nerve that sends signals to the diaphragm to stimulate breathing, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Inflammation may precede sleep apnea, could be treatment target

September 1, 2017
Inflammation is traditionally thought of as a symptom of sleep apnea, but it might actually precede the disorder, potentially opening the door for new ways to treat and predict sleep apnea, according to researchers.

More evidence: Untreated sleep apnea shown to raise metabolic and cardiovascular stress

August 31, 2017
Sleep apnea, left untreated for even a few days, can increase blood sugar and fat levels, stress hormones and blood pressure, according to a new study of sleeping subjects. A report of the study's findings, published in the ...

Sleep patterns contribute to racial differences in disease risk

August 18, 2017
Poor sleep patterns could explain, in part, the differences in the risk of cardiometabolic disease between African-Americans and European-Americans, according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.