Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sleep Apnea and the Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation System

It seems like there is always some sort of new innovation regarding the cure of sleep apnea. Whether it is an improvement in the CPAP machines or dental devices or even surgery something is always be invented to try to cure this tiring disorder. The other day I saw an article from the about a device that was implanted in a truck driver who had just discover that she had sleep apnea. Earlier in the year I had wrote about this procedure but they hadn’t done any testing at the time.
The truck driver initially went to her doctor with the familiar complaints that suggest sleep apnea, waking up many times during the night and being very tired during the day. As you can probably guess her doctor sent her on a sleep study where it was confirmed that she suffered from sleep apnea. Like most new sleep apnea patients she tried the CPAP and like a lot of us she didn’t find any relief from it. She was then introduced to a new technology called Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation System (they will probably come up with a shorter name for!) The device is planted in the chest and shocks the tongue (somehow) to eliminate the blockage in the back of the throat. For this lady it has seemed to do the trick. She did say that the battery has life span of 3 to 5 years. That a small tradeoff if you can get your sleeping back.
Of course like all new devices it will probably be a while before this system is considered a sparkling success. But it certainly sounds promising.
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1 comment:

  1. I have heard of this new procedure, but I guess I am still concerned due to it being so new. I really don't know if I am ready for surgery. I don't love my c-pap or hate it yet I guess. thanks for the great information.