Inspire® Sleep Apnea Therapy

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, Inspire Therapy may be an excellent treatment option for you. At Specialty Care Institute, Dr. Goyal is proud to offer this new and advanced treatment to patients.

What is Inspire Therapy?

Inspire therapy is a treatment option for people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. It is a neurostimulation device that works by sending a mild electrical signal to a nerve in your upper airway.

This process helps to keep the airway open during sleep. Inspire works by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve, which controls the movement of the tongue and other muscles in the upper airway. 

The Inspire device is controlled by a small handheld remote, which you will be able to activate before going to bed. Inspire therapy is a form of implantable device therapy and is an excellent option for those who have failed to respond to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or other traditional OSA treatment options.

What Happens During The Inspire Procedure?

During a short in-office procedure, Dr. Goyal will implant the Inspire device under the skin in your chest. The procedure is a same-day, outpatient procedure that takes about two hours to complete.

The procedure consists of two very small incisions, one in your upper chest and one under the chin. The small Inspire device and a breathing sensor will be placed in the chest.

Once it is in your chest, it is connected to a lead that is placed in your upper airway. After the procedure, you may experience some slight discomfort and swelling for a few days.

You will need to take it easy for a couple of days, but you will be able to resume most normal and more strenuous activities in a couple of weeks. The visibility of scars will vary from person to person, depending on the individual healing process and your skin tone.

How Does Inspire Therapy Work?

Inspire therapy is a neurostimulation device that works by sending a mild electrical signal to the hypoglossal nerve, which controls the movement of the tongue and other muscles in the upper airway. This helps keep the airway open during sleep and reduces the number of apneas, which are breathing pauses, and hypopneas, which are shallow breathing episodes, that occur during sleep. 

The Inspire device also has a built-in sensor that can detect when you’re asleep and when your airway is obstructed. When the sensor detects an obstruction, it sends an electrical signal to the hypoglossal nerve, which causes the tongue and other muscles in the upper airway to move, opening up the airway and allowing you to breathe.

How Do I Know if Inspire Therapy is Right For Me?                                                  

To determine whether or not Inspire is right for you, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Goyal at Specialty Care Institute in Barrington, Illinois. At your consultation, Dr. Goyal will conduct a thorough evaluation of your sleep apnea symptoms and medical history.

You may also need to have a sleep study, called polysomnography, to measure the severity of your sleep apnea and determine if Inspire therapy is an appropriate treatment option. If you have had one recently, bring the results with you to your consultation.

In general, Inspire therapy is usually recommended for people who have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea and have not had success with other treatment options like CPAP or lifestyle changes.

Additionally, certain criteria must be met for inspire therapy to be considered, such as: 

  • Must be over eighteen years old
  • Must have a body mass index of less than thirty-two
  • Must not have severe lung disease
  • Must not have active upper airway infection or acute respiratory illness
  • Must be willing to comply with all programming and follow-up visits

It’s important to discuss the potential benefits and risks of Inspire therapy with your physician before making a decision. It’s also important to note that the current version of Inspire can undergo MRI scans if recommended adjustments are made, so there is no need to worry about interference. 

Additionally, having a pacemaker should not disqualify you as being a candidate for Inspire.

Will Inspire Wake Me Up or Disturb My Sleep?

Inspire therapy is designed to be comfortable and should not disturb your sleep or wake you up during the night. However, as with any medical device, results may vary from person to person.

If you do happen to notice a sensation from the Inspire device, it will likely be very mild. Since the Inspire device sends gentle stimulation to the motor nerve that controls the tongue, it is possible you may feel the slight sensation of your tongue moving out of the way of your airway.

This stimulation is designed to be very gentle, so much so that it does not disturb your sleep. It should not be painful or uncomfortable. 

The Inspire device should also not limit your everyday activities while awake. It’s important to discuss any concerns or questions with Dr. Goyal and comply with all the follow-up visits to ensure the device is working properly.

Will Inspire Help With Snoring?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissue in the upper airway, which can occur when the airway is partially blocked by the tongue or other muscles relaxing during sleep. While Inspire is designed to keep the airway open during sleep, it is primarily intended to treat OSA, not snoring.

However, if snoring is caused by OSA, Inspire may help to reduce or eliminate snoring by effectively treating the underlying condition. In fact, a significant decrease in snoring has been found as a secondary effect of Inspire, and 90% of bed partners report reduced snoring by their partners.

Are you interested in learning more about Inspire or determining if it may be a good treatment option for you? Schedule an appointment at Specialty Care Institute at any of our four convenient locations today!