Breathe Easier – Obesity, Sleep Apnea, and Weight-Loss Surgery

When was the last time you had a good night’s rest? If you’re like roughly 20 million Americans out there, it’s possible that it has been a while–and sleep apnea could be to blame! 80% of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea goes undiagnosed, and it could be what’s keeping you up at night

Read on and find out how you can tackle sleep apnea and obesity all at once with weight-loss surgery!

The 3 Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when a sleeping person involuntarily stops breathing. Apnea is a Greek word which literally translates to “without breath.” Most people who suffer from this condition don’t know they have it, although they stop breathing hundreds of times throughout the night.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): the most common form of sleep apnea; throat muscles relax during sleep, blocking a person’s airway intermittently
    • Common symptoms include loud snoring, morning headaches, excessive sleepiness during the day, mood changes such as depression or irritability, and more.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): the brain temporarily fails to send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing
    • Common symptoms include waking up short of breath, chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, poor or restless sleep, stopped or irregular breathing during sleep, mood changes, and more.
  • Mixed or Complex sleep apnea: a combination of OSA and CSA


Although sleep apnea is a very common disorder, all three types of the condition can become dangerous for those afflicted.


Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

One of the biggest risk factors for sleep apnea is a person’s weight, with studies showing that overweight and obesity can be directly linked to many cases of OSA. However, there are even more factors which may put you more at risk, including:

  • Age
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Family history/genetics
  • Frequent alcohol use
  • Smoking

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Me?

People with sleep apnea most commonly find that sleep apnea impacts their sleep and, in turn, their ability to function during the waking hours. Even if you don’t notice the problem, it often results in less restful sleep, which can lead to trouble with driving, operating machinery, and job performance—just to name a few.

If left untreated, it can have even greater effects that are potentially life-threatening, like high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression.

It also may be affecting those around you, as loud and disruptive snoring can keep up the whole house. The common detriments to mood and concentration may affect your relationships and ability to complete work—not to mention the worry you and your loved ones may be feeling.

So, what can you do?

Common Treatments for Sleep Apnea

The most common treatment for all forms of sleep apnea is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. The CPAP is comprised of a mask that fits over the nose and mouth and and a machine that blows air into your passageways to keep them open throughout the night.

Less common treatments include dental appliances that reposition the jaw and tongue, airway surgery, and nerve stimulation.


How Obesity Plays into Sleep Apnea

Obesity is one of the most common causes of OSA for adults, affecting as many as 45% of overweight and obese people. This is attributed to  larger amounts of soft and fatty tissue in the mouth and throat increasing the likelihood of the airway being blocked.

Each single-point increase in BMI (such as going from a BMI of 37 to a BMI of 38) is associated with a 14% increase in risk of developing sleep apnea, and gaining an additional 10% of your weight makes you 6 times more likely to have moderate or severe OSA.


Bariatric Surgery: Treating Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Although a CPAP machine is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, it is more of a coping mechanism than a cure—and many patients report difficulty sleeping due to the noise of the machine. Luckily, overcoming both sleep apnea and obesity could be as easy as choosing weight-loss surgery!

Bariatric procedures, like the sleeve gastrectomy, are proven to provide many amazing health benefits to patients, such as:

  • Helping them lose 50 to 70% of their excess weight
  • Improving and resolving high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Relieving joint pain and improving mobility
  • …and, of course, treating sleep apnea!

Because weight-loss  procedures help patients reach a healthy BMI, they are able to reduce their risk for OSA and even resolve pre-existing cases. A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that bariatric surgery greatly improved OSA in 78% of patients.

So, don’t wait to start breathing easier—we’re only a click away!



When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:

  • 15 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
  • 15,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
  • The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
  • 24/7 access to online seminars
  • 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
  • Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
  • Since 2000, we boast 19 years of success!

Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today.


Back to blogSchedule a Consultation

Sign Up

Back to Blog

Breathe Easier – Obesity, Sleep Apnea, and Weight-Loss Surgery


Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery.