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New Technology Provides Alternative for Sleep Apnea Patients

November 29, 2022

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Tufts Medicine Lowell General Hospital’s Sleep Lab is excited to now offer a breakthrough treatment for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea who get limited benefits from the use of a CPAP machine.

Inspire is an FDA-approved device that is implanted under the skin by the collarbone using a minor surgical procedure. The instrument detects the patient’s breathing and uses gentle stimulation to open the airway. The patient turns it on and off with a small remote control.

Inspire diagram

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that can have serious health impacts. The condition occurs when breathing starts and stops frequently during sleep, potentially limiting oxygen intake and impacting one’s ability to get an appropriate amount of rest. Signs include significant snoring or gasping during sleep, as well as excessive daytime tiredness.

Lowell General’s Sleep Lab typically diagnoses sleep apnea using a sleep study. For many patients who receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, a CPAP machine proves to be an effective treatment, but for many a CPAP machine is ineffective.

To prescribe Inspire, the Sleep Lab team has undergone training to evaluate patients’ eligibility and administer the device. The first two Inspire procedures were performed in October, and two more were completed in November.

To learn more about Lowell General’s Sleep Lab and Neurodiagnostic testing, visit Sleep Medicine.

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