Inspire Advanced Sleep Apnea Treatment Comes to Chattanooga

August 7, 2020 — The Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders has become the first provider in the Chattanooga area to offer Inspire, a new treatment for sleep apnea that does not respond to traditional CPAP treatment.

“We need everything at our disposal in treating sleep apnea. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not do well with CPAP treatment, so we need to be able to give them other options, such as Inspire,” said Dr. Anuj Chandra. He is the medical director of the Advanced Center for Sleep Medicine, and has been affiliated with CHI Memorial Regional Sleep Center for the last 17 years.

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Inspire is an upper airway stimulation system that uses a surgically implanted impulse generator and sensing lead. Similar to how a cardiac pacemaker works by stimulating the heart muscle, the Inspire device senses when a person is inhaling and gives a gentle stimulation to muscles in the airway to keep the airway open and allow normal breathing.

Inspire was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2014, but until recently was only available in Tennessee at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Now Dr. Chandra can provide pre-surgical evaluation and post-surgical monitoring of the device in Chattanooga. ENT surgeons at Memorial Hospital are slated to handle surgical placement of the device in Chattanooga, but that has been delayed due to COVID-19. For now, the surgery still takes place at Vanderbilt, but it will be done at Memorial Regional Sleep Center in the very near future.

“We are so happy to work with Inspire to provide the first credentialed site in Chattanooga,” Dr. Chandra said. “It’s taken a year of work with Iocal ENT specialists — including Dr. Peter Hunt and Dr. Alexander Sokohl — and the Inspire team. Now we can serve patients who need this here in Chattanooga, rather than sending them to Vanderbilt for the entire procedure.”

More on Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition in which breathing actually stops and starts during the night. Loud snoring or snorting is often a sign of apnea. Although these pauses in breathing are short, they have a strong cumulative effect. Sleep apnea can cause lower levels of oxygen in the blood and can contribute to many diseases, including high blood pressure or heart disease, type 2 diabetes, complications after surgery, liver problems, and more.

The gold standard for treating most cases of sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in which the patient wears a small mask over the mouth and nose (or the nose only) and a small beside machine pumps air through the mask. The air pushed through the CPAP mask gently encourages the soft tissues in the patient’s mouth and throat to stay open, so the patient can breathe normally.

Anuj Chandra, M.D., D.ABSM, founded the Advanced Center for Sleep Medicine in 2005, an independent sleep medicine clinic equipped with the latest sleep testing equipment and with locations in Chattanooga, Cleveland, and North Georgia. Since 2005, Dr. Chandra has served as part of the international teaching faculty of the National Sleep Medicine Course, a physician education initiative to bring cutting edge sleep medicine training to India.

For more on Inspire, visit www.inspiresleep.com.

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