A new outpatient treatment for adults with sleep apnea may help ensure
a better night's sleep without the use of a mask or invasive surgery.
The FDA-approved therapy called
Inspire is now offered for those with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
(OSA). Alvarado Hospital is the first site in San Diego—and one
of the first in the U.S.—to offer this therapy.
It is estimated that sleep apnea affects approximately 1 in every 15 Americans.
People who have an untreated case of sleep apnea face a risk of stroke
that is four times as likely as those who are not afflicted. Untreated
sleep apnea sufferers are also three times as likely to have heart disease.
Inspire therapy utilizes first-of-its-kind technology—a small, fully
implanted system that has been clinically proven to significantly reduce
sleep apnea events. Similar to a small pacemaker, Inspire therapy is implanted
into the upper chest, and the technology senses breathing patterns and
delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which keeps the airway
open during sleep. It's installed during outpatient surgery and can
be wirelessly turned off and on by the patient using a remote.
"We believe that this therapy represents a major advance in sleep
apnea treatment, especially for vulnerable patients who cannot achieve
benefit from CPAP," said
Dr. Brian Weeks, the first San Diego physician trained to offer this procedure. "Untreated
moderate-to-severe OSA places patients at increased risk for cardiovascular
disease, accidents and death. Inspire therapy provides us with an effective
new treatment to use in a select group of our CPAP-intolerant patient
"Inspire therapy is a promising new treatment option for people that
are not receiving consistent benefits from continuous positive airway
pressure. Many people find they cannot tolerate the CPAP mask due to an
ill fit or claustrophobia," Dr. Weeks of the Senta Clinic added.