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Abrazo Arrowhead Campus now offering Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment, a new therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea in which an implantable FDA-approved device stimulates motor nerves to restore muscle tone and open the upper airway during sleep.

Sustained clinical results of the Inspire treatment — an alternative for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) intolerant patients — show significant decrease in daytime sleepiness and apnea events maintained over 5 years and a significant reduction in snoring.

Dr. Richard Pearlstein, an otolaryngology specialist, will perform the patient procedures, which require three small incisions made to implant the device under the skin of the neck and chest during an outpatient visit.

Approximately a month after implantation, the device is activated during a daytime clinic visit. A sleep study then helps patients fine-tune the setting of their device for best results. The Inspire device is controlled by a handheld sleep remote that the patient turns on before going to sleep and off upon waking.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and other soft tissues in your airway collapse during sleep, blocking the flow of oxygen to your body. The Inspire system senses breathing patterns and delivers mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve, preventing the airway from collapsing to facilitate unobstructed breathing.

How Do I Know If I Am a Candidate for Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment?

Inspire Therapy is for people who meet the following requirements:

  • You have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (Apnea-Hypopnea Index 15-65% with <25% central and mixed apnea)
  • You are unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP
  • You are not significantly obese
  • You are over the age of 22

If you meet the criteria, you will undergo a screening to assess your overall health and sleep apnea history before getting a Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy (DISE), which will determine if there is complete concentric collapse at the palate.

What Are the Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Symptoms include

  • Snoring
  • Breathing pauses during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Morning headaches
  • Depression

When left untreated, OSA can lead to significantly increased risk of

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Accidents (workplace or automobile)

Is Inspire Covered by Insurance?

Inspire is reimbursed by most major insurance providers, either as a covered policy or approved on an individual basis.

Inspire is not for everyone. Talk to your doctor about risks, benefits and expectations associated with Inspire. Risks associated with the surgical implant procedure may include infection and temporary tongue weakness. Some patients may require post implant adjustments to the system’s settings in order to improve effectiveness and ease any initial discomfort they may experience. Important safety information and product manuals can be found at, or call 1-844-OSA-HELP.

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