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Sleep Surgery

MetroHealth is a leader in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders.

To make an appointment, call 216-778-4391.

Woman sleeping in bed

Inspire Surgery (Upper Airway Stimulation)

What is it and how does it work?

An upper airway stimulation approach to sleep apnea works inside the patient’s body. It involves a small implantable pacemaker-like device which stabilizes the throat while sleeping by providing gentle stimulation to throat muscles and allowing the airway to remain open during sleep.

The device gets implanted along the right side of the neck and chest wall during a two- or three-hour long procedure under general anesthesia. After four weeks the device gets turned by the physician and patients use a small remote control to turn the device on at night and off in the morning when they wake up. 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.  

Inspire Surgery Illustration 1 Large 

How well does it work?

Several studies have reported on safety and efficacy of upper airway stimulation with high patient satisfaction scores: 

  • Most patients are extremely pleased with their Inspire experience.
  • The surgery is usually better tolerated compared to any other sleep surgery as there is much less pain.
  • Inspire therapy is extremely powerful in improving or even curing patients from OSA.

The device battery lasts approximately ten to eleven years, after which it can be replaced during a brief outpatient surgery.


Who is a candidate?

Inspire Therapy is not for everyone, and patients will have to meet several characteristics:

  • Be 22 years of age or older
  • Have moderate to severe OSA (AHI range from 15-65 with <25% central/ mixed apneas)
  • Be unable to use a Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine
  • Be free of complete concentric collapse at the palate, which will be determined by a MetroHealth ENT provider during a sleep endoscopy exam (DISE)
  • Inspire therapy is not for people who are significantly overweight
Inspire Surgery Remote Control w Caption


Learn More About Inspire Therapy