FDA approves first-of-a-kind sleep apnea implant

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 1, 2014 at 10:41 am •  Published: May 1, 2014
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The FDA approved the new technology from Minneapolis-based Inspire Medical Systems for patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

The company's system consists of a small generator, which is implanted in the upper chest region much like a pacemaker or a defibrillator. The generator is connected to an electrical stimulation lead in the throat that senses breathing patterns and delivers a current to keep airways open during sleep. Patients activate the system using a small hand-held remote before bed and then turn the system off when they wake up.

Company officials say the implant is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time than surgeries that are sometimes used to try and treat sleep apnea by removing part of the roof of the mouth or widening airways.