Surgeons told how they solved sleep disorder problems in 18 patients by treating them for obesity.
The procedures, performed at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, New Hampshire, USA, led to patients shedding more than 120 pounds (54kg) on average. All patients lost at least 60 pounds (27kg) in weight, the conference of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation in Washington DC, USA, was told.
Researchers Michael Scheuller, of Dartmouth Medical School, and Dudley Weider told the conference that gastric surgery (called "bariatric surgery") could be the best surgical solution when a morbidly obese patient presents with a sleep disorder.
17 patients' average weight
Before: 342 pounds (155kg)
After: 219 pounds (99kg).
One patient was able to lose weight through diet. Four of the patients had a gastroplasty. The remainder had a biliopancreatic bypass with two-thirds distal gastrectomy. Before surgery the patients weighed on average 341.8 pounds (155kg). Afterward the average weight was 218.8 pounds (99kg).
After surgery, patients reported improved memory, a reduction in accidents, improved self-image, an ability to resume normal activities and savings on food bills, the conference was told.
"When weight loss is achieved, the likelihood is excellent that sleep apnea syndrome will greatly diminish or completely resolve. This provides for an enhanced quality of life," the researchers said.
"Bariatric surgery is one means of allowing substantial and long-term weight loss for morbidly obese patients. Thus, it is seen as an effective short- and long-term treatment for sleep apnea syndrome, and could be considered a new standard of care for this syndrome."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com