Alternative Treatment for Sleep Apnea Now Offered at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital - MedQ

Alternative Treatment for Sleep Apnea Now Offered at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital

MedQuarter (MedQ) Regional Medical District | March 24th, 2021

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder, which affects two to four percent of adults according to the National Institutes of Health. This chronic condition occurs when the soft tissues in your throat, like the tongue, relax during sleep and block and obstruct the airway, causing breathing to start and stop during sleep. OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea.

Surgeons at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital recently started implanting the Inspire Therapy device, which is designed to treat (OSA). The FDA-approved device is an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure – commonly referred to as CPAP.

St. Luke’s Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team recently performed its first Inspire implant, which was led by Thomas Heineman, MD, otolaryngologist, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa.

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

Inspire Therapy implantation is an outpatient procedure at St. Luke’s.

“Inspire Therapy is an alternative treatment for individuals with OSA who do not get benefit with CPAP/positive pressure therapy,” said Dr. Heineman. “We are pleased to offer this new therapy option for patients in the Cedar Rapids metro area.”

Individuals should talk with their family doctor if they have signs of OSA, which may include snoring, waking gasping or choking during sleep and excessive daytime drowsiness. They may also find information at

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