Patients who suffer from sleep apnea and have difficulty using or maintaining a CPAP machine have a new option. Inspire is a revolutionary sleep apnea treatment that works inside the patient while they sleep by monitoring their breathing and applying mild stimulation to open their airways.
Stimulation allows the patient to breathe normally and sleep peacefully. Using the remote control, the patient simply turns her Inspire on before she goes to sleep and turns it off when she wakes up. No masks or hoses, just a simple remote control.
Dr. Jarrod Keeler, Chief of Surgery at the Allentown Campus of the St. Luke’s University Health Network, is the first in the region to implement this FDA-approved procedure that works inside the body to treat the cause of sleep apnea with just a click. bottom. button.
The procedure of placing a small device inside the body is usually completed with same-day surgery and requires several days of recovery at home.
Pain and discomfort are minimal, and patients report dramatically better results in a relatively short time after surgery.
“Patients often tell me how grateful they are that they don’t have to deal with the struggle with a CPAP machine in the end while enjoying all the benefits.
One of those patients is Laura Baylo, a 58-year-old dental assistant from Bethlehem who has suffered from sleep apnea and its effects since she was in her 30s.
“I had it for years without knowing it,” she said.
A sleep study confirmed the diagnosis of severe sleep apnea, and Veiro began treatment with a CPAP machine.
“I think at first, it worked for me in a hot moment,” she said. I wake up with … but let me just say it will never be my best friend.”
When her cardiologist told her about the Inspire sleep apnea option, she said she accepted the idea immediately. I got
“I’m not afraid of surgery and I’m not afraid of falling over. I just asked for it and I’m so glad I did it.”
Her minor surgery went well with little post-op discomfort. She was back at her job in a matter of days and has been benefiting from deep, healthy sleep for over a year. “I didn’t realize how much her sleep apnea was affecting her health until she started feeling better,” she said.
“For me, having this surgery was so worth it.
Public health impact
Keeler, recently named a Surgeon of Excellence by Inspire (the first in the Lehigh Valley and the only surgeon in the region), learned about this kind of surgery while studying for a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University. I am interested in surgery. of medicine.
“Stanford is like the Mecca of the sleep surgery world,” he said. People who suffer from sleep apnea or lack of sleep have a much higher risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, car accidents…the list goes on. It is an area that can have a significant impact on the quality of ”
When Keeler came to St. Luke’s, he contacted Inspire. Inspire is the company that pioneered the surgical approach to treating sleep apnea, eliminating CPAP machines that many patients find uncomfortable, difficult to keep clean, and cumbersome to carry around.
Also, according to Keeler, while some people have to be romantically involved, some people confess that they have concerns about being romantically involved.
“As one patient told me, they didn’t want the machine on a date,” he said.
After learning more about the procedure and the level of interest among Lehigh Valley residents, Keeler began working with Inspire and the St. Luke’s network to bring this technology locally.
The first Inspire implant surgery was successfully completed in St. Luke’s in September 2020, and Keeler has performed nearly 100 surgeries since. His oldest patient he was 88 years old and his youngest only he was 29 years old.
“He’s a symbol of good health, but like many other patients who can’t tolerate CPAP, he suffers from sleep apnea,” Keeler said of the young patient.
Not everyone with sleep apnea is a good candidate. A diagnosis of moderate to severe sleep apnea is required and the patient must not be significantly overweight. A sleep airway examination should also determine the cause of the obstruction.
Although there will be a series of follow-up visits, Keeler said, “Our team at St. Luke’s has developed a complete pathway of care to ensure our patients have a lifetime of success.”
While some patients have expressed concerns about the implant’s compatibility with MRI, Keeler said recent FDA approval has ensured that all devices are fully compatible with magnetic resonance imaging. It says it’s guaranteed.
Nearly all insurance policies in the Lehigh Valley now cover Inspire therapy, and Keeler said the device typically has a 10-year or longer battery life.
Keeler is working with fellow doctors to improve the procedure and has already reduced the size of two incisions. He said the doctors are part of a broad team at St. Luke’s University that deals with sleep problems.
“Our entire team is at the forefront of this science. My partner on the St. Luke’s Sleep Medicine Team – Dr. Giuseppe Guglielmelo. David Cohen and Joseph Ramsey advance patient care and medicine.” “It’s been helping to improve patients’ lives in ways we didn’t know was possible with this or other treatments for sleep apnea,” said Keeler.
He said nearly all of his patients who have opted for Inspire implants are happy to have taken this step. “And I ask them: If sleep is an important part of life, why aren’t you doing something that can help you?” Keeler said.