UCHealth is the first health system in Colorado to offer Inspire therapy, as reported by the Coloradoan.
Inspire therapy, recently approved by the FDA, provides a person relief without a mask or oral appliance, said Dr. Matthew Robertson, an otolaryngologist with Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat. In a 90-minute outpatient procedure, a small battery is implanted in the chest of the patient. From that device, a wire that senses the patient’s natural breathing patterns is directed to a nerve in the tongue and another to the rib cage area. During inspiration, an electrical stimulus is delivered to the tongue which gives it tone and prevents it from falling backwards and obstructing the airway. The device is controlled by a small hand-held sleep remote that can turn on the device at night and off in the morning when the person is awake.
“This is an exciting cutting-edge treatment option for CPAP-intolerant, sleep apnea patients,” Robertson said. “If [the patient] meets criteria, it will be a life-changing experience.”