What is Inspire Therapy?
This FDA approved implantable upper airway stimulation device functions like a pacemaker and stabilizes a patient’s throat during sleep in order to prevent obstruction.
The device consists of three components: a programmable neurostimulator located in a chest pocket, a pressure sensing lead that detects patient’s breathing, and a stimulator lead that delivers mild stimulation to the tongue nerve. The stimulator is controlled via the patient’s handheld remote control.
“Inspire therapy is the first neurostimulation technology for the treatment of OSA that complements the natural physiology of patients, making it a very effective treatment modality”, says Dr. Weidenbecher, who is one of the most experienced Inspire Therapy surgeons in the United States. Moreover, it is a less painful and invasive procedure than many other sleep surgeries.
Dr. Weidenbecher has pioneered a minimally invasive Inspire implant approach using only 2 small incisions instead of the previously required 3. This novel approach has recently been FDA approved and was adopted by hundreds of other sleep surgeons. Dr. Weidenbecher also developed a surgical technique that improves intraoperative visualization of the tongue nerve, thus facilitating better stimulation lead placement.
Dr. Weidenbecher has published his superior Inspire results most recently showing that 19 out of 20 patients were treated successfully and did not have to use CPAP anymore.
Dr. Weidenbecher is one of the leading implant surgeons in the country and celebrated 150 Inspire implants in June 2021
How is the device implanted?
The implantation is done under general anesthesia using 2 incisions along the chest and the chin. Implant-related serious complications are very rare and less than 1%. Bruising and tingling along the tongue are usually temporary and resolve within weeks.
Effectiveness of Inspire Therapy
In 2014 the results of a large multicenter Inspire Therapy trial, Stimulation Therapy for Apnea (STAR), were published in the New England Journal of Medicine reporting a 68% decrease in the number of times a patient stops breathing per house (also known as an AHI score) with significant improvement in quality of life and daytime functioning as measured by Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
For more information on Inspire therapy, click here: www.inspiresleep.com
Patients explaining their experience with Inspire