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Published on January 03, 2022

UNC Lenoir Health Care Offering New State of the Art Sleep Apnea Procedure

Dr. Barbara Goheen has introduced a new sleep apnea treatment to the area.  Inspire is an FDA-approved obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment option for people who cannot use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. 

OSA affects 22 million Americans. When left untreated, OSA can cause vehicle and workplace accidents, worsening mood and memory, stroke, heart attack, and even death. It occurs when the airway collapses during sleep and blocks the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain senses a lack of oxygen and wakes the body up just long enough to take a breath, then falls back asleep. This cycle repeats throughout the night and causes poor, disruptive sleep.

Inspire works inside the body with a patient’s natural breathing process to treat sleep apnea. Mild stimulation opens the airway during sleep, allowing oxygen to flow naturally. The patient uses a small handheld remote to turn Inspire on before bed and off when they wake up. 

The Inspire system is implanted during a short, outpatient procedure. The system is placed under the skin of the neck and chest through two small incisions. Most patients return home the same day and take over-the-counter pain medications to manage pain as needed.

 “We are excited to have completed the first Inspire procedure at UNC Lenoir.” said Dr. Goheen, Otolaryngologist with Kinston Head and Neck Physicians.  “Inspire represents a significant advancement in treating sleep apnea. It is clinically proven to reduce sleep apnea events, has a high level of patient satisfaction and a high therapy adherence.”