Breakthrough Stimulator to Treat Sleep Apnea

May 27, 2021

Based on a patient’s unique breathing patterns, Inspire delivers a mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve, which controls tongue movement and prevents the tongue from blocking the airway.

A good night’s sleep doesn’t come easy to the more than 22 million Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when soft tissues in the airway collapse during sleep and block the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain senses a lack of oxygen and wakes up the body just long enough to take a breath, causing a cycle of poor, disruptive sleep.

“A lack of sleep can be detrimental to our body, but sleep apnea can lead to other health issues, including moodiness, memory loss, even strokes, heart attacks and death,” said Charles Zeller IV, D.O., an Otolaryngo-logist with the Broward Health Physician Group. “That’s why it’s so important to be treated for sleep apnea.”

Dr. Zeller is the first physician in the Broward Health system to utilize Inspire® Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS), the only FDA-approved implantable device to combat obstructive sleep apnea. Inspire UAS is a less intrusive, more comfortable solution to obstructive sleep apnea. Implanted in the body as an outpatient procedure, the small device is activated following a 30-day healing period. Working inside the body with a patient’s natural breathing process, Inspire can combat certain types of obstructive sleep apnea, particularly in cases where a loss of muscle tone causes the tongue to fall back in the mouth.

Based on a patient’s unique breathing patterns, Inspire delivers a mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve, which controls tongue movement and prevents the tongue from blocking the airway. By stimulating these muscles, the airway remains open, during sleep.

Inspire is controlled by the patient using a small, handheld Inspire sleep remote that is turned on before bedtime and turned off in the morning. Additionally, the patient can pause therapy during the night, if needed and increase or decrease the therapy settings.

“There is tremendous demand for the Inspire stimulator,” said Dr. Zeller. “Unlike other common treatments, with Inspire there is no mask, no hose and no noise.”
Most patients can resume non-strenuous activities within a few days after the short procedure and may experience an improved quality of life and daytime functioning.

Patients must meet certain criteria to qualify for the procedure to determine if Inspire is a suitable alternative. For more information, visit: www.browardhealth.org/services/sleep-disorders. Or call Dr. Zeller’s office at: (954) 888-3800.