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Sleep Medicine Specialist

Helmuth Billy, MD

Bariatric Surgeons located in Ventura, CA

Dr. Billy helps his patients who suffer from sleep apnea and other sleep disorders due to obesity with a variety of surgical and non-surgical treatments to improve breathing and sleep. Patients can make appointments at either of his office locations in Ventura and Thousand Oaks, California.

Sleep Medicine Q & A

What symptoms could indicate a sleep disorder?

Everyone is tired from time to time due to a lack of sleep, overexertion of energy or illness. However, when symptoms are chronic, and tiredness has a negative effect on regular day-to-day activities, professional assessment should be sought. Some of the symptoms that could indicate a sleep disorder like sleep apnea include:

  • Being tired during the day despite having an appropriate length of sleep
  • Snoring or a break in breathing while sleeping
  • Excessive daytime napping or regularly nodding off while reading or watching tv
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep on a regular basis

Why do we do a sleep evaluation?

Obesity certainly increases the risk of sleep apnea which may cause or exacerbate diabetes and hypertension, as well as increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of post-operative complications. Snoring, acid reflux, hypertension, and fatigue are common complaints in the general population but are also symptoms associated with sleep apnea. If we determine that you have sleep apnea, and we initially treat the condition with positive airway pressure before your surgery, we decrease your risk of post-operative complications. An overnight sleep study will be done if our clinical evaluation suggests the possibility of sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea may have several other sleep disorders, but the overnight sleep study will reveal these as well. If you have previously undergone a thorough cardiac, pulmonary or sleep evaluation with your personal physician, cardiologist, pulmonologist, or sleep doctor, we will review these evaluations with you and decide if any additional testing is necessary.

What are the treatments for sleep disorders?

The most common recommendation to treat snoring and sleep apnea is to lose excess weight. Even a small amount of weight loss can open up your throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms. Dr. Billy can provide bariatric surgery to help you lose weight to improve your overall health and relieve some sleep disorders. During sleep it is best to sleep on your side, using pillows to remain in the position. Sleeping on the back tend to make sleep apnea and snoring worse. CPAP treatments are considered to be the most effective therapy, and they can be combined with mouth guards for maximum benefit. Mouth guards work by gently repositioning the jaw, bringing it forward, so the airway opening is improved. Guards are designed and fabricated for each patient using impressions of the teeth to ensure a comfortable fit that won't interfere with sleep. In the event the more conservative approaches do not help, laser treatments and surgical options are available to help tighten or remove excess tissue in the throat.


Ventura Advanced Surgical Associates is a preferred provider with many health plans including Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net PPO, Gold Coast MediCal, and others. Dr. Billy is also a provider with Kaiser Permanente Southern California. You must contact Heather Jacobsen regarding bariatric surgery and insurance coverage. She can also answer questions regarding our billing policies. You can reach Heather by email at or by phone. Please leave her a detailed message and she will get back to you. Heather Jacobsen, Insurance and Billing Specialist: 805-676-9100 x118.

Blue Shield
Health Net
Kaiser Permanente