Upper airway stimulation therapy is a treatment option for patients with obstructive sleep apnea who have difficulty with continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, therapy. It is the only obstructive sleep apnea treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration that works inside the body with a click of a button.
Upper airway stimulation therapy involves implanting a small device under the skin in the upper chest during a short outpatient procedure. The device, which monitors breathing while you sleep, delivers a mild stimulation when needed to keep your upper airway open. Simply press the button on the remote to activate the monitoring device when you're ready for bed. While sleeping, the device opens your airway to allow for normal breathing and a peaceful night's rest.
The upper airway stimulation device is inserted just under the skin in a same-day outpatient procedure.
The procedure involves three small incisions:
In the lower chest to place the breathing sensor
In the upper chest to place the device
Under the chin to place a small cuff on the nerve that controls the tongue
Who is eligible for upper airway stimulation therapy?
You must meet certain criteria to be considered for upper airway stimulation therapy:
18 or older
Failure or intolerance of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy
Body mass index below 35
Apnea hypopnea index between 15 and 65
In addition to meeting these criteria, other testing procedures need to be completed to confirm eligibility for treatment.