Implantable Device Is Alternative for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

<p>TAMPA | CPAP is effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea but many patients don’t use it the way they should.</p><p>Now an implantable device called Inspire has approval from the Food and Drug Administration. </p><p>Inspire is for patients who can’t, or won’t, use CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to treat this serious sleep disorder.</p><p>”It works consistently,” said Dr. Tapan Padhya, a University of South Florida physician who took part in the clinical trial of Inspire.</p><p>”The only step the patient has to do is turn it on and off” after a small generator is put inside the chest under the collarbone, he said, adding “There’s no mouthpiece, nothing like that.”</p><p>It’s part therapeutic and part preventative treatment, said Padhya, who is with the USF College of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.</p><p>Obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure. Studies link it to heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, among other problems.</p><p>People with sleep apnea stop breathing, temporarily, many times while sleeping.</p><p>Patients activate the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation device by using a remote before going to sleep. Leads attached to the stimulator sense breathing patterns and deliver mild electronic stimulation to keep the tongue and tissues in the upper airway from collapsing and obstructing breathing.</p><p>Although CPAP is the “gold standard” to be tried first, Padhya said, people are likely to be much more compliant in using Inspire.</p><p>The simulator goes in the body 30 days before being activated. That allows monitoring for post-surgery events like sore throat and muscle soreness.</p><p>USF and Tampa General Hospital had 12 of 126 patients in the Stimulation Therapy for Apnea Reduction trial funded by Inspire Medical Systems of Minneapolis.</p><p>Patients had a 68 percent reduction in apnea events. Results were in the Jan. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.</p><p>[ Robin Williams Adams can be reached at robin.adams@theledger.com or 863-802-7558. ]</p>

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