A new treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea for patients who cannot use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is available at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, 18701 N. 67th Ave., Glendale.
The Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy is an implantable system includes a small generator, a sensing lead and a stimulation lead. Turned on by a handheld remote, it delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which keeps the airway open during sleep.
Sleep apnea can exacerbate heart conditions like arrhythmia and congestive heart failure – treatable conditions that can contribute to a higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Typically performed as a “medical necessary” outpatient procedure, the therapy works from inside the body and with the patient’s natural breathing process.
“Many with sleep apnea don’t even know they have a problem,” Dr. Richard Pearlstein, who performs the procedure at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, stated in a news release. “A lot of heart disease is exacerbated by untreated sleep apnea. For those who do use a CPAP, many stop using it after a couple of years. This is a great technology for those who can’t tolerate a CPAP mask.”
Patients may experience some pain and swelling at incision sites but should be able to return to nonstrenuous activities after a few days. Approximately one month after implantation, patients return to their doctor’s office where personalized stimulation settings are established and patients are trained to use the handheld sleep remote.
“This new therapy represents a significant advance in sleep apnea treatment,” Dr. Pearlstein stated. “It is clinically proven to reduce sleep apnea events and also has a high level of patient satisfaction and therapy adherence.”
More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 25% of men and 10% of women suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Common signs of sleep apnea include reduced or absent breathing, known as apnea events, frequent loud snoring, and gasping for air during sleep. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue; decreases in attention, vigilance, concentration, motor skills, and verbal and visuospatial memory; dry mouth or headaches when waking; sexual dysfunction or decreased libido; or waking up often during the night to urinate.
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