Sleep Quality Improves after Lap Band Surgery

Weight loss induced through Lap-Band surgery improves obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and sleep quality, according to a new study published by Dr. Mark Fusco, Medical Director of LifeShape Advanced Bariatric Center. The study’s findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) and published in the Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means that the brain may not get enough oxygen. People with sleep apnea have poor sleep quality and often experience daytime drowsiness. Carrying excess weight is a risk factor for sleep apnea. With obesity, fat deposits around the upper airway may obstruct breathing. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, and post-menopausal women are also at a higher risk.

The new research is a 2 year interim analysis of the APEX study, a 5 year on-going study of the Lap-Band AP system. At the beginning of the study, 117 patients (29.6%) had obstructive sleep apnea prior to surgery. At 2 years, there was sufficient OSA data available for 57 of these patients.  Dr. Fusco found that after 1 year, 36% of the patients experienced resolution or improvement of OSA.  At 2 years, this proportion increased to 86%, with the remaining 14% reporting no change. The average body mass index (BMI) at 2 years for those that experienced resolution or improvement was 35.7, representing a 20.2% loss of body weight. “Interestingly, the study showed that even patients that were not identified as having sleep apnea preoperatively experienced a significant improvement in their sleep related quality of life,” said Dr. Fusco. The overall study population also experienced improvement or resolution of other obesity-related co-morbidities, including type 2 diabetes (96%) and hypertension (91%).

At last year’s annual meeting of The Obesity Society, a study was presented showing that obese patients with type 2 diabetes lost significantly more weight with an intensive lifestyle intervention program than those in the control group. They also significantly reduced their apnea-hypopnea index or AHI (an index used to assess the severity of sleep apnea). You can read more about the study here.

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