Implantable device replaces CPAP for sleep apnea sufferers

Jul 23, 2018

Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital offers Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation therapy

TUCSON (July 23, 2018) – Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital is now offering a new treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea for patients who cannot use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.

The new treatment - known as Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy - offers the first implantable device for treating obstructive sleep apnea. The therapy works from inside the body and with the patient's natural breathing process.

Inspire UAS sleep apnea deviceThe implantable system includes a small generator, a sensing lead and a stimulation lead. Turned on by a handheld remote, it delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which keeps the airway open during sleep.

For many patients, the Inspire system can be implanted during an outpatient procedure.

"In our practice we see many patients who have stopped using or are unable to tolerate CPAP," said AJ Emami, MD. "This new therapy represents a significant advance in sleep apnea treatment. It is clinically proven to reduce sleep apnea events and also has a high level of patient satisfaction and therapy adherence."

Patients may experience some pain and swelling at incision sites but should be able to return to nonstrenuous activities after a few days. Approximately one month after implantation, patients return to their doctor's office where personalized stimulation settings are established and patients are trained to use the handheld sleep remote.

  • More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea - the most common type - can be a potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Research shows that people with poorly managed sleep apnea are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, weight gain, high blood pressure and heart failure.
  • While CPAP is often successful, studies show that roughly half of all patients who start CPAP eventually become non-compliant.

In the STAR (Stimulation Therapy for Apnea Reduction) trial, a pivotal clinical trial that tested the safety and efficacy of the new therapy, patients experienced a significant reduction in sleep apnea events and significant improvement in quality of life measures. Results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

For more information about this therapy, or to determine if you may be a candidate call 833-276-1963.

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