sleep apnoea
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Sleep apnoea is a common health problem that is not often recognised. As part of our commitment to you and your health, we routinely assess our patients for the problem. Perth Obesity Surgery has helped many of their patients overcome sleep apnoea issues and has now joined forces with sleep technicians from Rockingham CPAP to help more patients find a life-long healthy weight and a good night’s rest.

What is Sleep Apnoea?

A potentially serious sleep disorder, sleep apnoea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.

The three main types are:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnoea, which occurs when throat muscles relax
  2. Central sleep apnoea, which occurs when the brain’s signalling to the muscles that control breathing does not work properly
  3. Complex sleep apnoea syndrome is a combination of the two

Symptoms include others noticing breathing stopping or gasping for air during sleep, snoring, waking with a dry mouth or headache, insomnia or daytime sleepiness or irritability. Problems and complications can occur because of the frequent drop in oxygen, strain to the heart and disturbance to the important benefits of sleep. Many patients are unaware that they have the problem but report having more energy after the issue is treated.

Risk factors include obesity, age over 35, male gender and thickness of neck. Family history increases your risk for sleep apnoea. The problem is made worse by some medications, smoking and the use of alcohol.

A sleep technician will be able to help test, diagnose and treat sleep apnoea which often involves lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking, adjusting alcohol intake, sleep habits including sleeping position or introducing oral devices like a mouth guard or the breathing assistance of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

Why We Treat Sleep Apnoea

There are three reasons why we believe in our process and recommend screening for sleep apnoea as part of the assessment phase and optimisation of the problem when detected. In summary, these reasons are:

  1. Untreated sleep apnoea limits the effectiveness of weight loss,
  2. Untreated sleep apnoea is associated with medical complications and that risk does not stop after weight is lost.
  3. Untreated sleep apnoea is associated with risk for complications around the time of surgery.

Sleep Apnoea and Weight

There are several health reasons why someone may experience sleep apnoea, one of those is obesity and excess weight.

Excess weight can create fat deposits in the neck which block the airway during sleep, and excess weight can compress the chest wall which decreases lung volume leading to airway collapse when laying down to sleep.

People with sleep apnoea are also more likely to gain weight, because of the impact on hormones, in particular in decreasing leptin – the appetite-suppressing hormone, while increasing ghrelin – the appetite-stimulating hormone.

The exhaustion that follows poor quality sleep also impacts our entire lifestyle, leaving us too exhausted to sleep and has a physical effect on our cardiovascular, metabolic and other systems in our body.

A healthy body weight is one of the first steps to rectifying sleep apnoea, but sometimes that’s more simply said than done, with all of the complexities that come with weight gain and the sleep apnoea loop we’ve discussed.

Complications of Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnoea is associated with many medical problems. Most of these can be summarised as a metabolic syndrome which is a term that describes how the constellation of medical problems often occur in one patient and can be shown to make each other worse. These problems include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Hearth Failure
  • Diabetes
  • Cholesterol abnormalities
  • Fatty liver disease and dysfunction

Risk of death from cardiovascular disease is doubled from untreated sleep apnoea.

In addition to this, decreased energy with impaired function is common. Low mood and high stress can occur. This problem can often also be shared by partners and family members whose sleep has been disturbed.

Sleep Apnoea and Surgery

We have concerns over how sleep apnoea is a risk factor for complications around surgery. There are many reasons for this, one of which is how anaesthetic and pain relief medication affect your drive to breathe. Times of apnoea (not breathing) is longer which means there is more time that you don’t have enough oxygen where it is needed. This is not good when your body is healing and can actually lead to an irregular rhythm of the heart. At best this may mean that hospital staff need to apply levels of care that are more than what was planned during your admission and at worst, there are reports of patients being found unresponsive on routine check of observations.

At Perth Obesity Surgery we offer the safest possible weight loss surgery through meticulous techniques and a commitment to preoperative optimisation and patient selection.

Perth Obesity Surgery

The team not only has the trusted expertise in surgical solutions to assist weight loss, but they also help support behavioural change and give their patients the tools to make long-term, lifestyle changes to achieve their health goals and overcome obesity-related health problems.

Perth Obesity Surgery create individualised plans in a complete weight management solution, created by a multidisciplinary team of Perth’s most accomplished bariatric surgeons, psychologists and diet and exercise specialists.

Where their patients are eligible and assessed as a candidate for bariatric surgery, they know it has been proven a safe, effective, long-term solution to healthy weight management for those with obesity.

Perth Obesity Surgery are with you every step of the way.

Sleep Technicians at Rockingham CPAP

Perth Obesity Surgery has partnered with sleep technicians, experts in helping bariatric surgery patients overcome sleep-related problems.

Rockingham CPAP have leading sleep specialists, able to work closely to bring their patients premium, comprehensive sleep solutions.

All technicians are fully trained, and sleep scientists are RPSGT accredited, ensuring the best sleep care available.

Access support at Rockingham CPAP, by visiting or call (08) 6186 6636.

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