Those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are typically best treated with CPAP therapy. It remains the gold standard in treatment and works for most—but not all. That is why, at The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona we also offer alternatives like the Inspire implant. Now, the FDA has recently approved an improved surgical technique for the Inspire implant that eliminates the third incision. This makes it even easier, with a quicker recovery (though the Inspire implant surgery has always been relatively fast and simple). However, if you think you have OSA or were recently diagnosed with this common sleep condition, bear in mind that there are also factors to consider and potential changes to make before surgery.

First, bear in mind that all patients must tried and failed CPAP therapy before being eligible for the Inspire implant. CPAP compliance will also be required during this period, and today’s technology tracks compliance to report back to your sleep doctor and insurance provider. There are ways to improve compliance, starting with ensuring a proper choice and fit of CPAP accessories. A poor fit is the primary cause of poor CPAP compliance. Our team of experts will work with you to make sure your CPAP fit is correct and that you are aware of additional tools to help with comfort—for example, a recent study showed that nasal cleansing before and after CPAP therapy can drastically improve comfort.

There are also some changes that can be made to lifestyles to help reduce or even eliminate OSA. One of the most common problems is excess weight, particularly in the neck. For those who are overweight or obese, losing weight can dramatically help with OSA. Sleep hygiene best practices, which can be part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), may also prove helpful in minimizing OSA symptoms. However, if you have tried CPAP therapy and are one of the few people who do not benefit from it, the Inspire implant may be for you. As the Face of Sleep Medicine in Arizona, we are one of the few clinics that offer it and look forward to helping you get the sleep you need.

What to Know About Getting Inspire(d)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Inspire Upper Airway Therapy surgical technique to reduce the procedure time by 20 percent. This is achieved by removing the need for one of the three incisions initially required for the implant. According to the CEO of Inspire Medical Systems, “Delivering consistent positive patient outcomes remains Inspire’s number one priority, and the receipt of FDA approval for this two-incision procedure represents further evidence of our commitment to the continuous improvement of Inspire therapy.” The latest technique puts the sensor inside the intercostal muscles (between the ribs), right behind the neurostimulator pocket. This, in turn, means there is no need for the older third incision which was made on the lower chest. At the same time, it also eliminates the need to tunnel the lead beneath the skin to link the two devices.

This technique was created by a team of ENT surgeons with experience placing the Inspire device. Now that it has been approved by the FDA, those who are eligible for the Inspire implant can enjoy fewer incisions, a shorter surgical time, and a briefer recovery period. According to the announcement, “Placement of the sensor in this revised location simplifies the overall procedure, while maintaining the strong safety and efficacy profile of the therapy.” A clinical study compared the two- and three-incision approach, with results showing no change in the safety or effectiveness of the Inspire therapy. However, there was a “statistically significant decrease in surgical time to just under 100 minutes on average, which is a 26-minute reduction from the three-incision procedure time.” Any reduction in surgery time is a positive development for patients.

Experts expect that the removal of the third incision and tunneling procedure will also reduce the risk of injury to the breast and chest wall, as well as post-operative discomfort. If you have OSA, have tried CPAP therapy, or are interested in learning more about management options for your condition (including the Inspire implant) in Phoenix, schedule a consultation with a sleep expert today. Contact The Insomnia and Sleep Institute today by calling the office, or completing the online contact form.