Approximately 18 million Americans experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder that can cause serious problems such as excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue, memory loss and lack of concentration. These individuals have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
While CPAP therapy is the preferred treatment method, not everybody can tolerate this. Individuals looking for an alternative treatment for their sleep apnea might find relief from Inspire therapy.
What Is Inspire?
Inspire is an implantable device, similar to a pacemaker, that monitors your breathing patterns while you sleep. It delivers mild stimulation to the nerve that controls movement of the tongue and airway muscles, keeping the airway open and preventing OSA.
The device contains three parts: a small generator, a breathing sensor lead and a stimulation lead. Patients use a small handheld remote to control the device, turning it on or off and pausing it during the night if needed. The stimulation is typically painless, and its strength can always be adjusted using the remote if needed.
How Is Inspire Used?
The Inspire device is implanted during an outpatient surgical procedure using general anesthesia. It is placed beneath the skin of the neck and chest via two small incisions. Most patients are able to return to most activities within 2-3 days of surgery and are fully recovered within two weeks.
A recent three-year study concluded that many patients noted significant improvements in their quality of life and daytime functioning abilities. Seventy-eight percent of patients experienced a reduction in OSA, and 80 percent reported soft or no snoring.
Candidates for Inspire must have been diagnosed with moderate to severe OSA and are unable to benefit from PAP therapy. They must not be significantly overweight.
Take a step towards better rest and call Burlington Ear Nose & Throat at (319) 752-2725 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Inspire Sleep Therapy Time Line
Steps to Success with Inspire Sleep Therapy
- Step 1: You will be evaluated by Dr. Henrich to assess if you are an Inspire candidate.
- Step 2: Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy (DISE) procedure. Your ENT surgeon will place you under mild anesthesia to mimic your sleep patterns. While you’re asleep, he/she inserts a tiny camera into your nose and throat to determine the cause of your apnea.
- Step 3: Prior Authorization for Inspire placement. Please allow three weeks for insurance approval.
- Step 4: Outpatient surgery to place the Inspire device.
- Step 5: One week post-operative check up with ENT.
- Step 6: 4 to 8 weeks after your surgery, you will have an office appointment with Burlington Neurology and Sleep Medicine to activate the Inspire device.
- Step 7: You will increase the amplitude on your device remote one step every 5-7 days.
- Step 8: In 5 to 7 weeks, you will have an office appointment with Neurology and Sleep Medicine to increase the amplitude range on your Inspire remote.
- Step 9: You will increase the amplitude on your device remote one step every 5-7 days.
- Step 10: In 5 to 7 weeks, you will have an office appointment with Neurology and Sleep Medicine to increase the amplitude range on your Inspire remote.
- Step 11: Prior authorization for an in-lab sleep study. Please allow three weeks for insurance approval.
- Step 12: You will have an in-lab Fine Tune study at Southeastern Iowa Regional Medical Center
- Step 13: You will have an appointment with a Burlington Neurology and Sleep Medicine specialist to discuss the results of your Fine Tune sleep study.
- Step 14: You will have a follow up appointment with Dr. Henrich for evaluation of the surgical outcome (approximately 6 months after the surgery).