Millions of 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, car accidents from drowsy driving and high blood pressure.
While CPAP therapy is the preferred treatment method, not everybody can tolerate this. If you are unable to use a CPAP, Inspire might be perfect for you.
What is Inspire?
Inspire is an implantable device, similar to a pacemaker, that monitors your breathing patterns while you sleep and helps keep your airway open. It does this by gently stimulating key airway muscles.
Patients use a small handheld remote to control the device, turning it on or off and pausing it during the night if needed. The device is fine tuned for your specific needs and can always be adjusted, if needed.
Who Is a Candidate for Inspire?
To be a candidate for Inspire, patients must:
- Have moderate to severe OSA
- Be unable to benefit from CPAP therapy
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have appropriate airway anatomy
- Not be significantly overweight
Why Choose Inspire?
If left untreated, OSA can lead to increased risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, memory loss, automobile accidents and other serious diseases.
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 Sleep Apnea, and 80 percent reported soft or no snoring.
Overall, patient satisfaction was as high as 91% among more than 2,500 surveyed patients after their final visit.1
Additionally 90% of bed partners report no snoring or soft snoring and patients experience a 79% reduction in sleep apnea events.2
What is the Process for Getting Inspire?
Before going through with Inspire, your doctor will perform a 15-to-20-minute airway exam to make sure Inspire is a good fit for you. The Inspire treatment includes several stages:
- An office consultation with a WENT surgeon. You will need to provide any sleep studies and sleep center visit notes at least one week prior to your visit.
- An appointment with the sleep center physician who will manage the Inspire implant after surgery.
- An outpatient Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy (DISE) to properly examine your airway collapse while sleeping. The procedure itself is a safe, one-day outpatient procedure with a low chance of adverse events. Typical recovery time is quick, and most patients return to non-strenuous activities in just a few days.
- An outpatient Inspire implantation surgery lasting a few hours. You will have an incision below your right lower jaw and an incision in your right upper chest, below the collarbone. You must follow all the postop instructions closely.
- A few repeat visits with your sleep center physician to turn the Inspire instrument on and fine tune the stimulation settings.
Your sleep specialist may also want to further discuss any fine-tuning of the device based on sleep study results, in addition to reviewing more long-term care management plans for your condition. You can expect a call or visit within the first two weeks after your procedure.
Access to your own sleep study data through the Inspire device will also be accessible through the Inspire Cloud via a smartphone app.
Though expected with any kind of surgery, additional risks involved with the Inspire procedure may include:
- Pain or swelling immediately after the procedure
- Temporary tongue weakness
Most of these events are either resolved on their own or through adjustments of the therapy setting. Be sure to speak to your specialist about any additional safety concerns you may have.
To learn more about the Inspire procedure or to schedule an appointment, call Willamette ENT at (503) 581-1567.
“I came to be under Dr. Donovan's care during a medical emergency at the hospital. The care I received that day and in every interaction after, at Willamette ENT has been prompt, professional and very thorough. I feel very well cared for.”