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Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation (HNS) therapy is a newly FDA-approved treatment option for patients with sleep apnea.  There are several companies that are developing this technology such as Inspire.

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation requires the placement of a neuronal (nerve) stimulator under general anesthesia. The therapy is a fully implanted system controlled by you with a small handheld sleep remote. It is easy to use – simply turn the therapy on before bed and off upon waking up in the morning. The implanted system consists of three components: a small generator, a breathing sensor lead and a stimulation lead. When activated, the sensor continuously monitors your breathing patterns during sleep and delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which keeps the airway open. HNS therapy does not require a mask or oral appliance.

Unlike more invasive OSAS surgical procedures, HNS may be done on an out-patient basis (same-day surgery). The biggest advantage of HNS is that it does not change your anatomy and therefore is much less invasive. The recovery is minimal with most returning to work within a few days.

Dr. Pasha will evaluate your airway anatomy and overall health status to determine if hypoglossal nerve stimulation is appropriate for you.

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation diagram

FAQ about Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation

Is HNS therapy covered by insurance?

Yes. The therapy will require the insurance companies to review coverage on a patient-by-patient basis. Once we determine if you qualify for the therapy, we will work with you and your insurance company to gain payment approval.

How long is the recovery time after surgery?

Since this is an outpatient surgery – you may be able to go home the same day you have the surgery. You should expect some pain and swelling at the incisions sites for a few days after the operation. Within a few days following the procedure you should be able to return to normal, non-strenuous activities.

How does HNS therapy compare to palatal reconstruction/UP3 surgery?

HNS differs from palatal reconstruction/UP3 surgery because it does not alter the oral anatomy such as: soft palate, uvula and base of tongue. Therefore, the post-operative pain and recovery is minimal.

How long will the generator battery last?

The battery life of the generator varies depending on daily use and the strength of stimulation; however, most batteries last anywhere from 8 to 11 years.

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