Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Patients having bariatric surgery may not report symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea
This article discusses research showing that in patients undergoing bariatric surgery, they often do not report symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as often. This is despite a rather high incidence of OSA in this population. The results of this study are consistent with my clinical experience. I often get patients referred from bariatric surgeons who otherwise would not come to a sleep disorders clinic. Because untreated obstructive sleep apnea is dangerous for patients undergoing bariatric surgery, it may be beneficial to screen all patient's undergoing potential weight loss surgery for obstructive sleep apnea. Since patients report less symptoms, the screening used may be better if it is objective rather than relying on patient reports. Of course, I understand that patient's thinking about bariatric surgery may see this as one more obstacle in their path to achieving weight loss. However, due to the perioperative risk it would be beneficial to get screened for sleep apnea, whether they experience symptoms or not.