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Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant Review
The Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant is a medical device that is implanted in the body to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a disease caused by recurrent episodes of sleep apnea. This is a condition where breathing stops for more than 10 seconds, causing the blood oxygen saturation to decrease by more than 4%.
OSA syndrome occurs during sleep when the muscles in the upper airways relax, causing airway obstruction. This leads to a decrease in the oxygen content of the blood and causes short periods of unconscious awakening throughout the night. An unhealthy sleeping pattern strains the body, which increases blood pressure and causes serious diseases. Diseases caused by OSA can be physical, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. They can also be mental, including depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, loss of memory and concentration.
Before treatment, a sleep study or polysomnography is required. Polysomnography calculates the apnea index, which is the frequency of apnea episodes during one hour of sleep, and determines the severity of the disease. The apnea index is considered significant if there are more than 20 episodes of apnea per hour, regardless of whether there are clinical symptoms or not.
The gold standard for the treatment of OSA syndrome is CPAP therapy. However, CPAP treatment is not for everyone, as many people find it uncomfortable to sleep with the mask on and the machine itself can be loud, especially as it usually sits close to the head. Only 25% of patients can use CPAP treatment for a long time.
That’s why Inspire Medical Systems Inc. has recently come up with a highly effective solution with the Inspire sleep apnea implant.
How the Inspire sleep apnea implant works
The Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant is a battery-operated device that promotes electrical stimulation of the sublingual nerve. The battery life is about 10 years.
The main unit of this device is placed under the skin, on the right side of the chest, and it monitors the breathing phase. Another electrode is implanted to stimulate the sublingual nerve, which creates muscle tension. This opens up the upper airway and allows the tongue to stick out, helping to keep the airway open during sleep.
In addition to the two electrodes, this device also has a handy little remote control that actually turns the device on before you go to sleep and turns it off when you wake up. This prevents the electrodes from interfering with communication and eating processes during the active phase of the day, when a person needs physiological narrowing of the larynx and tongue movements for these processes.
The patient may feel slight involuntary contractions in the larynx or tongue movements during the first use of the device. These movements do not cause pain, only slight discomfort. These unpleasant effects disappear after the first few uses of the device.
In general, the implant should be checked 1 or 2 times a year. However, depending on the situation, a doctor trained in Inspire therapy may consult patients more or less frequently.
The Inspire Sleep Apnea implant is only suitable for:
Patients who are over 22 years of age.
Patients diagnosed with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
Patients with an apnea index between 20 and 65.
Patients who are not comfortable using CPAP therapy or who have not had the desired effect.
Patients with a body mass index of less than 32.
Body mass index (BMI) = weight (kg) / height^2 (m2).
A person whose weight is 80 kg and whose height is 170 cm is
BMI = 80 kg / (1.7 m ^ 2) = 80 / 2.89 = 27.68 kg/m2
The Inspire sleep apnea implant could potentially replace CPAP therapy as the “gold standard” for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Dr. Ryan J. et al. has shown that after the Inspire sleep apnea implant is implanted, snoring is significantly reduced. The percentage of “no” or “mild” snoring changed from 22% at baseline to 88% at 12 months and 91% at 24 months post-treatment. The apnea index also decreased from 31 to 14. 82% of patients in the study reported using this treatment at night for five years. Therefore, it is clear that this method is very effective and easy to use!
Dr. Patrick J. of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center also conducted another interesting study. The study found that stimulation of the sublingual nerve at the base of the tongue reduced the severity of obstructive sleep apnea by 68% and reduced the number of sleep apnea episodes from 29 to 9. Blood oxygen saturation also improved; daytime sleepiness decreased and the patients’ quality of life generally improved.
Inspire the price of sleep apnea
The Inspire Sleep Apnea implant costs approximately $15,000 to $25,000, not including operating costs. In addition, the battery cannot be replaced after it is discharged, a new unit must be implanted. The implant can also move out of place over time. In comparison, a CPAP machine costs around $1,500 to $3,000, which is much cheaper.
Inspire sleep apnea side effects
The Inspire Sleep Apnea implant is a surgical procedure with potential complications, like any medical procedure. Post-operative infections, temporary weakening of the tongue, post-operative bleeding, pain or discomfort in the implant area may occur.
People with the following concerns are not suitable for this device:
Patients suffering from central or mixed apnea with a total apnea index greater than 25%.
Patients with anatomical problems that impair the performance of upper airway stimulation, such as complete concentric collapse of the soft palate.
Patients with a disease or procedure that has impaired neurological control of the upper respiratory tract.
Patients who cannot or do not have the ability to use a sleep remote control.
Patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Patients with an implantable device that may be prone to inadvertent interaction with the Inspire system – an allergic or rejection reaction to the implanted materials.
The Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant treatment is approved by the FDA and has proven to be an effective solution for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Currently, insurance companies evaluate and approve therapy on a patient-by-patient basis.
Talk to your doctor if this is a treatment you want to explore further.
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