Inspire for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a surgical implant that stops the tongue from blocking the airway when you breathe.
While it is often considered a more comfortable way to treat OSA than with a CPAP machine, it requires a surgery, follow-up appointments, and the implant may be noticeable on the chest. Therefore, patients should consider all factors prior to electing to proceed.
Process for Getting an Inspire Implant
Some people think that they can just come in, schedule the surgery next week, and be done with it, but it’s a process. The reality is that it takes a few months because it’s a team-based process that includes:
- The candidacy evaluation and implantation.
- Sleep medicine doctors activate the implant.
- A sleep study done three months later. You come in with your remote, and they fine-tune the implant to the best setting for you.
- A year out, they do a repeat sleep study at your house to make sure it remains effective.
I would say that the best-case scenario is six weeks from the initial consultation to surgical implantation. More realistically, it’s probably two to three months. This is why it’s important to have your consultation as soon as you think it’s something you want.
The battery life – The device’s battery life is 11 years, after which you would not have to have the whole thing replaced, but you would have to have the “brains” of it switched out, just like a pacemaker.
Size – A lot of people ask how big it is and if it’s going to be noticeable? It will look similar to the way a pacemaker does under the skin. It goes below your skin and below the subcutaneous tissue. If you’re a thin person, it will be more noticeable, but most people have enough tissue to limit the noticeability. For some people, that’s a dealbreaker.
First Steps to Having an Inspire Sleep Apnea Implant
ENTCET is one of the top ENT clinics in East Tennessee, so the first step is to schedule an appointment with us. Once we see you, we can direct you to the next step.
For insurance purposes, you have to have a sleep study within the last two to three years. If you don’t, you’ll need an updated sleep study, which can either be an at-home sleep test or a sleep endoscopy, depending on the insurance requirements. Sometimes it takes a month or more to do that study and get the results, so call us as soon as you’re interested in learning more.
The key is to give the ENTCET office a call and get an appointment first.