The Inspire Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator received FDA approval for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in 2014. The approval was granted following extensive clinical trials in which the safety and efficacy of the device were clearly demonstrated. Since 2014 over 30,000 patients in the United States have been successfully implanted with the Inspire device. The Inspire device is specifically indicated for treatment of OSA in patients who are either intolerant to the use of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or who prefer not to use CPAP for treatment of their OSA. CPAP is the recommended initial treatment patients receive for treatment of sleep apnea.
Many patients experience difficulty tolerating the use of CPAP and are searching for alternative therapies for control of sleep apnea and improvement of their sleep quality. Traditional surgical therapies for obstructive sleep apnea are directed at producing permanent changes to the pharyngeal airway or facial skeleton to create static enlargement of the airway. These procedures have varying degrees of long-term success. The most widely used procedure; uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, has a frustratingly high failure rate in controlling moderate to severe OSA.
The Inspire implant is the newest addition to the surgical options for treatment of OSA. With the Inspire implant the pharyngeal structures and facial skeleton are left undisturbed. The Inspire hypoglossal nerve stimulator is a form of neuromodulation therapy which is an innovative and elegant approach to prevent airway obstruction during sleep. The obstruction occurring during OSA is due to the collapse of the pharyngeal airway. The collapse is due to a combination of anatomic narrowing in certain individuals and loss of resting muscle tone during sleep. The Inspire implant works by using nerve stimulation to move the tongue base forward. This action both enlarges and stiffens the pharyngeal airway preventing airway obstruction from occurring. In addition to the nerve stimulator, the device also includes a respiratory sensor which is able to detect when an individual is inspiring. The nerve stimulation is only delivered when it is needed: during inspiration.
The Inspire device was awarded a “top 10 medical innovation of the year” award from the Cleveland Clinic in 2018.
What do our surgeons say about Inspire?
We have several surgeons at Proliance that specialize in Inspire Therapy. Read about what they have to say below.