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CPAP & Aerophagia - Why was I never warned of this!



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Aerophagia is what it's called. When air enters the esophagus and goes into the belly during sleep from too high of a pressure from a CPAP machine. My Bariatric Dr. knew I used a CPAP, and my sleep Dr. knew that I was having Bariatric surgery. Neither of them ever mentioned to me that this is a thing. Well about 2 weeks post-op, after I had lost about 40lbs total, my body getting leaner, the high pressure of my machine started pushing air into my new tiny belly while I slept. After a couple of days waking up to a full belly of air, I started looking online for answers, It was on a Saturday, so I would have to wait till Monday to call the dr. and find out what could be done. They lowered my pressure and it stopped doing this, but I fear it messed up my new stomach a little. And I think the amount it takes to satisfy me is a direct result of this. There's no going back from this now, so I'm just leaving my rant here, and moving on with my plan, and knowing that even though I may be able to eat a bit more than the suggested 4oz max at a meal right now, It's by far less than the overfilled plates that I could put away prior to surgery. 😕

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This is a timely post for me. I also use a CPAP, but I haven't been compliant since my bypass. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should contact my doctor about recalculating my pressure before I try using it again.

I'm sorry you had to experience what you did, but your rant possibly helped out someone else from going through something similar. THANK YOU!!!

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And I think this is something to check out, like Missouri- Lee's summit, I haven't been complian with Uncle Snuffly the C-Pap. You know, I have lost 60 pounds since surgery, maybe it doesn't fit as well at this weight?

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You are so new that you can totally go back... Space out your meals timings longer, eat 2oz no matter what you think you want, drink/eat slower.

Some of us way further out experiment with retraining and it works still.

Safe Journey 🎈

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This is good information for me to have as I too use a CPAP and seem to have a lot of air in my belly at times. I am due to see the Pulmonologist in early March and I will ask them then about adjusting the machine. Thanks.

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Can I ask do you use a full face mask or just a nose mask? I am hoping to have surgery this summer and was thinking of training myself to use the nose mask for this very reason.

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Nose Mask, I am high functioning Autie as well, full mask is too restricting, we have, many of us, sensory issues. I had lymphedema of both legs about a year or so back, they decided to wrap both legs in elastic bandages, liked to die,went into full- blown panic attack mode, oh those things were NOT GOOD. We are wired a little differently, I tell people we have a different but fully functioning MotherBoard, and we do brighten life in our differences.

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I hope you feel better soon. As GreenTea said you are relatively new to the surgery process. You can make it through this. Do not allow this to change your mentality and put you in a place that you think you have failed so soon as it may lead you back to bad eating habits. Keep trucking along! You got this!

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Wow, I appreciate you sharing about this. I’m facing the likelihood of needing a CPAP very soon and am just beginning the 6 month wait.

I feel like the insurance company should save themselves some money and just approve the surgery now. I have a bunch of costly new health issues that will probably be reversed after surgery! Ha!

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Needless to say, I was shocked when it happened to me, so I'm glad to get the word out and warn others. As far as my stomach stretching. I am working on keeping my portions down, unfortunately when you don't feel anything after eating soft food it's hard to not want more. I have noticed though that since I'm advancing to more solid food, I can actually feel it in my stomach, and have needed less to feel full. Maybe my stomach is shrinking back to where it's suppose to be. Hard to say yet. Thank You for all your support.

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11 hours ago, Austin22 said:

Can I ask do you use a full face mask or just a nose mask? I am hoping to have surgery this summer and was thinking of training myself to use the nose mask for this very reason.

From what I've read it can happen with whatever mask you use. I use a half face mask, it goes over my mouth and under my nose. I tried the full face masks in my sleep study and kept waking up panicking and trying to rip it off. And I have a somewhat deviated septum and always been a heavy mouth breather, so the nose only masks would be too hard for me to breath through. My CPAP girl at Mercy medical supply tracked down a mouth only mask that I wanted to try and it's covered by my insurance, I just need to wait til March when I can get a new mask setup.

This is what I use: https://www.easybreathe.com/Amara-View-Mask-p4423.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9ImKzLOP4AIVhbxkCh0cvQ_3EAkYCyABEgKTUvD_BwE

This is what I'm going to try: https://www.cpap.com/productpage/fisherandpaykel-fisher-paykel-oracle-452-nasal-cpap-mask?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9ImKzLOP4AIVhbxkCh0cvQ_3EAkYBiABEgJIK_D_BwE

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I've been experiencing this but didn't know it had a name or that I could get the pressure adjusted. Breakfast is a painful meal for me. I can tell it's because I have air in there. I can hear and feel the air moving around so I try burping. I push the breakfast down slowly and it helps get the air out. Do you contact your pcp for the referral to the cpap dr or contact the bariatric surgeon? Did they do another study on you or just lower the pressure?

Edited by CaribeRidge
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I'm so glad you posted this. I'm on a bi-pap machine with a full face mask. My concern is that this happens to me all the time. I already knew what it was but was concerned what it will do to my stomach right after surgery. Like could it cause my newly stapled stomach to leak. I'm supposed to be hooked up during my procedure. It will be some time before they can lower my settings. I stop breathing over 100 times an hour.

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On 2/23/2019 at 12:13 PM, CaribeRidge said:

Do you contact your pcp for the referral to the cpap dr or contact the bariatric surgeon? Did they do another study on you or just lower the pressure? 

Sorry for not responding sooner. I actually was new to the cpap and just contacted my sleep doctor. I think the pcp can help you get referred to one. They didn't do another study, just lowered the pressure and it stopped. But due to the amount of weight I'm losing she said I may need to have another study done if it starts happening again.. Hope you figured it all out, my post is late.

On 3/23/2019 at 6:14 AM, Awilkerson83 said:

Like could it cause my newly stapled stomach to leak. I'm supposed to be hooked up during my procedure. It will be some time before they can lower my settings. I stop breathing over 100 times an hour. 

Yikes, that's a scary thought. I hope not.

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Have you had a sleep study done recently to see if you still need the CPAP? Or, rather, do you plan on having one again as you lose weight to see if you can ditch the machine?

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