Inspire® for Sleep Apnea

Advanced Specialty Care is proud to now offer Inspire therapy for Sleep Apnea—a breakthrough treatment option for those who cannot use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Inspire is the only FDA-approved obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment that works inside your body to treat the root cause of Sleep Apnea.  It’s a small device placed during a same-day, outpatient procedure.

How It Works

Inspire delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, allowing the airway to open during sleep.  You simply turn Inspire on with a handheld remote before bed.  Throughout the night, the device continually monitors your breathing patterns, issuing stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve as needed, which controls the movement of the tongue and other key airway muscles.  When you wake up, you use the remote to turn off the therapy.  Additionally, you can use the remote to pause therapy during the night if needed and increase/decrease therapy settings.

Otolaryngologists at Advanced Specialty Care, Drs. Michael Bard & Dov Bloch

Is Inspire Right for Me?

Inspire is indicated for second-line treatment of moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea in adult patients with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) between 15 and 65.  Inspire therapy is not intended for patients with a complete concentric collapse at the level of the soft palate, or those in whom central and mixed apneas make up 25% or more of their apnea-hypopnea index.

You may be a candidate for Inspire if:

  • You have moderate to severe obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • You are unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP
  • You are not significantly obese
  • You are over the age of 18

Your doctor will also evaluate your overall health status and perform a physical examination of your airway to determine if Inspire therapy might be a suitable alternative for you.

To learn more about Inspire and whether you may be a candidate, book an appointment with ENT physicians, Drs. Michael Bard or Dov Bloch, at Advanced Specialty Care’s offices in Danbury or Norwalk, CT.  To schedule your appointment, call us today or request your appointment online.

Frequently Asked Questions

To assist you in making this decision, it is important to understand what to expect after having the Inspire procedure.  Here are answers to some of the most common questions…

Inspire works inside your body with your natural breathing process to treat obstructive sleep apnea.  While you sleep, Inspire delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, allowing the airway to remain open.  The Inspire system is controlled by a small handheld sleep remote.  You turn Inspire on before bed and off in the morning when you wake up.

Inspire is reimbursed by most major insurance providers, either as a covered policy or approved on an individual basis.  Your doctor and the insurance team at Inspire will work with you for approval.

Medicare is reimbursing the cost of Inspire therapy based on medical necessity.

No, you do not need approval from your insurance company before your first visit.

You should feel a mild sensation from the stimulation when the therapy is turned on.  Typically, patients feel a tingling sensation or mild contraction in their tongue muscles.  Then stimulation is delayed for a period of time while you fall asleep.  After this start delay, stimulation resumes.  The stimulation is gentle and designed to move the tongue forward without disturbing your sleep.

Yes.  A range of stimulation will be programmed by your doctor, and the Inspire sleep remote allows you to adjust the strength of stimulation.  The stimulation should not be painful or uncomfortable.  Stimulation strength can be adjusted so that therapy is comfortable and effective.

You should expect some pain and swelling at the incision sites for a few days after the implant.  Based on your recovery, you may be able to go home the same day you have the surgery, or your doctor may want to keep you overnight.

Within a few days following the procedure, you should be able to return to normal nonstrenuous activities.  You should avoid strenuous activities for about two weeks, or as directed by your doctor.  A week after surgery, your doctor will examine you to make sure you are healing properly.

Generally, no, Inspire should not limit normal daily activities once you are fully healed.   However, you should ask your doctor about any activities that are particularly strenuous (e.g., weightlifting) or that entail a large or unpredictable range of motion of your upper body and/or arms (e.g., working as a firefighter).

Like CPAP, an Inspire doctor can print out a usage record of Inspire to show the medical examiner that you are using your prescribed sleep apnea treatment.  By proving compliance, there should be no issues renewing your commercial driver’s license.

A significant decrease in snoring has been found as a secondary effect of Inspire.  90% of bed partners report no or soft snoring by their partner.

A doctor will need to test your current device with Inspire to determine if the two interact.  If they do not interact, you may be a candidate.

It is possible to safely remove Inspire through a surgical procedure when medically necessary.  However, this is rare and not recommended in most situations.

You will need at least one sleep study so your doctor can fine-tune your therapy settings.  Your doctor may need additional sleep studies to monitor and adjust your therapy settings.

It is safe to go through security screening devices with Inspire.  It is possible that Inspire would set off the metal detector so you should let security personnel know that you have an implanted stimulator and carry your Inspire Identification Card for verification.

The battery in Inspire is designed to last for approximately 11 years.  Once it is running low, it is replaced during a short outpatient procedure.

The first 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure the system remains off to allow you to heal.  You’ll then have an appointment to have the system programmed with initial settings, receive the remote for your device and learn how to use it.  You will then begin using Inspire every night, slowly increasing the amplitude until you reach the point where you are having comfortable restful sleep. 

After you’ve gotten used to using the device at home for about 12 weeks, you will have an overnight sleep study.  At that time, the technician will observe your sleeping and fine-tune the device to the best possible way to treat your sleep apnea.

Generally, the Inspire system should be checked 1 to 2 times a year.

The visibility of the scars will depend on your skin tone and individual healing process.

All Inspire patients can undergo most imaging technologies across the entire body including CT, ultrasound, and X-ray scans.  Depending on the model of your Inspire system, full body MRI scans can be performed provided certain guidelines and precautions are followed.

Ready To Learn More?

Book an appointment with ENT physicians, Drs. Michael Bard or Dov Bloch, at Advanced Specialty Care’s offices in Danbury or Norwalk, CT, to learn more about Inspire and whether you may be a candidate.  To schedule your appointment, call us today or request your appointment online.

For further reading, patients should check out our blogpost on Inspire.