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Could A Sleep Implant Help Your Sleep Apnea?

February 2, 2022

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Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with CPAP machines, but many patients are considering a sleep implant as an alternative. Let’s take a deeper look at sleep implants and whether they could help your situation. 

What is a sleep implant? 

A sleep implant is a device that is surgically implanted within your chest. “The small sensor in the chest wall monitors the patient’s breathing and sends mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway.” (metrohealth.org)

The downfalls of a sleep implant

Sleep implants are a relatively new technology for treating sleep apnea. Here are the concerns that are being closely monitored. 

Invasive Implant

The device is implanted during a surgery that would require general anesthesia and takes approximately three hours to complete. (metrohealth.org) Given that 70% of sleep apnea patients are overweight, anesthesia risks are heightened. (https://www.asahq.org) In short, the implant that should be saving your life could put you at more risk. 

Cost

The expected cost of having the device implanted is approximately $30,000 (healthline.com) Insurance may cover all or part of the cost, but with other options that are cheaper and easier to use, insurance may make coverage difficult. 

The device is expected to last 11 years, meaning an additional surgery each decade. 

Usage

The device is managed using a remote. Imagine how often you’ve lost your television remote. This could become an issue. 

Tongue control has also been reported as an issue with devices implanted. This makes sense as the device is meant to control your tongue access to the airway. 

At this time, Advanced Homecare recommends sleep apnea implants only for patients that have used a CPAP solution regularly for more than five years. 

If you would like to speak to one of our sleep experts about the best option for your own situation, please complete the form below. 

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