A 22-Year-Old Patient Status Post-Surgery Developed A Post-Operative Infection Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant Review

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Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant Review

The Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant is an implanted medical device for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome.

obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a disease caused by recurrent episodes of sleep apnea. This is a condition in which breathing stops for more than 10 seconds, during which time the oxygen saturation in the blood decreases by more than 4%.

OSA syndrome occurs during sleep when the muscles in the upper airways relax, causing airway obstruction. This leads to worsened blood oxygenation and triggers brief involuntary arousal events throughout the night. Unhealthy sleep patterns can stress the body, leading to increased blood pressure and the development of serious diseases. Diseases caused by OSA can be physical diseases such as high blood pressure, myocardial infarction and stroke. They can also be psychiatric, including depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, memory and concentration loss.

A sleep study or polysomnography is required before any treatment is given. The polysomnography calculates the apnea index, which is the frequency of episodes of apnea during one hour of sleep, and determines the severity of the disease. The apnea index was considered significant if the number of apneas exceeded 20 per hour, regardless of the presence or absence of clinical symptoms.

The gold standard treatment for OSA syndrome is CPAP therapy. However, CPAP therapy isn’t for everyone, as many people find sleeping with the mask on their face uncomfortable, and the machine itself is quite loud, especially since it’s often located near the head. Only 25% of patients can use CPAP therapy for a long time.

So recently Inspire Medical Systems Inc. came up with a very effective solution, the Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant.

How the Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant Works

The Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant is a battery-operated device that facilitates electrical stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve. Battery life is approximately 10 years.

The main unit of the device is placed under the skin on the right front of the chest and is used to monitor breathing phases. Another electrode is implanted to stimulate the hypoglossal nerve, which creates muscle tension. This opens the upper airway and allows the tongue to stick out and helps keep the airway open during sleep.

In addition to the two electrodes, the device includes a handy little remote switch that actually turns the device on before bed and turns it off when you wake up. This keeps the electrodes from interfering with the processes of communicating and eating during the active phase of the day, when a person requires physiological contractions of the larynx and tongue movements to carry out these processes.

During initial use of the device, patients may feel slight involuntary contractions in the throat or tongue movements. These movements cause no pain, just mild discomfort. These unpleasant effects disappear after the first few uses of the device.

In general, implants should be inspected 1 to 2 times a year. However, depending on the situation, a physician trained in Inspire Therapy may consult the patient more or less.

The Inspire sleep apnea implant is only for:

  • Patients 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 uncomfortable or not having the desired results with CPAP therapy.

  • Patients with a body mass index less than 32.

Body Mass Index (BMI) = Weight (kg) / Height^2 (m2).

A person weighing 80 kg and height 170 cm has

BMI=80kg/(1.7m^2)=80/2.89=27.68kg/m2

The Inspire sleep apnea implant has the potential to replace CPAP therapy as the “gold standard” for treating obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. A study by Dr. Ryan J. et al. It has been shown that snoring is greatly reduced following the placement of the Inspire sleep apnea implant. The percentage of “none” or “light” snoring increased from 22% at the start of treatment to 88% at 12 months of treatment and 91% at 24 months after treatment. In addition, the apnea index decreased from 31 to 14. Eighty-two percent of patients in the study reported using the therapy nightly for five years. It can be seen that this method is efficient and easy to use!

There is another interesting study by Dr. Patrick J. of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The study found that stimulating the hypoglossal nerve at the base of the tongue reduced the severity of obstructive sleep apnea by 68 percent and reduced the number of sleep apnea episodes from 29 to nine. The oxygen saturation of the blood was also improved; daytime sleepiness was reduced and the patients’ quality of life improved overall.

Inspire Sleep Apnea Fees

The cost of the Inspire sleep apnea implant is approx. $15,000-25,000, not including operating costs. Additionally, the battery cannot be replaced when it dies, requiring a new unit to be implanted. Implants can also shift over time. In comparison, CPAP equipment costs approx. Much cheaper at $1,500 to $3,000.

Exciting Sleep Apnea Side Effects

Insertion of the Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant is a surgical procedure and like any medical procedure, complications may arise. After surgery there is a risk of infection, temporary tongue weakness, postoperative bleeding, pain or discomfort in the implanted area.

This equipment is not suitable for use by persons who have the following concerns:

  • Patients with central apnea or mixed apnea accounting for more than 25% of the total apnea index.

  • Patients with any anatomical problem that would affect the performance of upper airway stimulation, such as the presence of complete concentric collapse of the soft palate.

  • Patients with any existing condition or surgery that has compromised upper airway neural control.

  • Patients unable or incapable of operating the sleep remote.

  • Patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

  • Patients with implanted devices may be susceptible to unintentional interactions with the Inspire system – hypersensitivity or rejection of the implant material.

The Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant has been approved by the FDA and has been shown to be an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Insurance companies are currently reviewing and approving the therapy on a patient-by-patient basis.

Talk to your doctor if you want to explore this treatment further.

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