Inspire Sleep Apnea Device: Treatment Overview

Inspire Sleep Apnea Device: Treatment Overview

The Inspire obstructive sleep apnea device is a relatively new treatment option that has received a lot of attention in recent years due to its unique approach to treating the condition. This therapy uses a small device that is surgically implanted in the patient’s body and works by stimulating the nerve that controls the tongue to prevent the airway from collapsing during sleep.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the advantages & disadvantages, indications & contraindications, ideal candidates, and the treatment pathway of the Inspire upper airway stimulation (UAS) device, as well as some information from a clinical study regarding its efficacy.

We will also share information about Bongo Rx, the new CPAP alternative treatment for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Bongo Rx is a non-invasive Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) device that is effective, comfortable, easy to use, convenient, and discreet. Bongo Rx is an alternative to CPAP that requires no machine, hose, electricity, or batteries.

Inspire is an Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) device that is surgically implanted to stimulate the hypoglossal nerve during sleep. The stimulation is controlled by an external, handheld remote that the patient uses nightly to turn on the Inspire device before sleep. Inspire is classified by the FDA as a Class III device, which includes devices with the greatest risk.

Advantages of Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment

  • No CPAP Machine, No Hose, and No Mask: Unlike continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), Inspire sleep apnea treatment doesn’t require the patient to wear a mask or have a flow generator CPAP machine delivering air to their body.
  • Simple to Use: Once the device is implanted, the patient simply uses a handheld remote to turn on and off the Inspire before and after sleep.
  • Customizable: Inspire sleep apnea therapy is customizable, allowing the patient (or doctor) to adjust the level of stimulation they receive based on their needs.
  • Effective: Clinical studies have shown that the Inspire sleep apnea device is effective for moderate to severe sleep apnea patients, with patients reporting improvements in their sleep apnea symptoms and quality of life after undergoing the therapy. In a clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example, the study patients reported a 68% reduction in their apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) after undergoing the surgery and using the therapy for 12 months.

Disadvantages of Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment

  • Cost: Inspire sleep apnea treatment is a relatively new treatment option, and as such, it can be quite costly. This can be a barrier for many patients who are unable to afford the treatment. Some insurance companies may offer coverage for Inspire for those who meet specific criteria, but patients typically can expect to pay any unmet deductible along with any copay or coinsurance fee for the surgery.
  • Complex procedure: Inspire sleep apnea treatment is a complex procedure that requires surgery and implantation of the device by a trained specialist. This can be a disadvantage for patients who are not comfortable with undergoing a surgical procedure.
  • Risk of complications: As with any invasive device or surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications associated with implanting and using Inspire sleep apnea therapy. This can include infection, nerve damage, or pain. To remove the implanted device or to replace its batteries, additional surgery is needed.
  • The procedure may also leave small scars. According to the company, “the visibility of the scars associated with the surgery to implant the Inspire will depend on your skin tone and individual healing process. There are two or three incisions made to place the device. Each patient will have one incision under the chin and one below the collarbone. Some patients will also have one on the side of the rib cage.”
  • Some patients are not candidates for the procedure.
  • It can be a lengthy process to qualify for and get the surgery.

Indications for the Inspire Sleep Apnea Device

Inspire is indicated for use to treat a subset of patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Have moderate to severe sleep apnea that is limited to between 15 and 65 AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea index).
  2. Do not have central and mixed apneas that make up 25% or more of their Apnea-Hypopnea index (AHI )
  3. Have been confirmed to fail, or cannot tolerate, Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) treatments, such as CPAP or EPAP.
  4. Do not have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 32.
  5. Do not have a complete concentric collapse at the soft palate level as determined by an internal airway examination procedure.

Contraindications for Inspire Sleep Apnea Device

  1. Pregnancy: Inspire sleep apnea treatment is contraindicated for patients who are or who plan to become pregnant as the safety of the therapy during pregnancy has not been established.
  2. Implanted devices: Patients with certain implanted devices, such as pacemakers or defibrillators, may not be eligible for Inspire sleep apnea therapy due to potential interactions with the device.
  3. MRI: Patients who require an MRI other than what is described in the Inspire labeling.
  4. Anatomic issues: Any anatomical finding that would compromise the performance of upper airway stimulation.

Ideal Candidate for Inspire Sleep Apnea Therapy

The ideal candidate for Inspire sleep apnea therapy is a patient diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea (limited to 15 to 65 AHI) who has been confirmed to have failed or not tolerated other PAP treatments, such as CPAP or EPAP. This patient should be in overall good health and have no contraindications for the therapy, such as pregnancy, implanted devices, or anatomical issues. They should also be willing to undergo the surgical procedure required for implantation of the device.

It is important to note that every patient is unique, and the best way to determine if Inspire sleep apnea therapy is right for you is to consult with a sleep specialist and undergo a thorough evaluation of your sleep apnea symptoms and medical history.

The general steps for getting started with Inspire are:

  1. An initial meeting with a specialized doctor is required to see if a patient is a potential candidate for Inspire.
  2. To further determine if the Inspire is right for you, you must have a first procedure where you are put to sleep so a doctor can insert a camera into your airway to review whether or not you have a complete concentric collapse at the soft palate level.
  3. In a different procedure, the Inspire device is surgically implanted under general anesthesia into the chest area, as well as in the neck area under the skin.
  4. Under the direction of their doctor, patients can typically resume non-strenuous activities in a few days and more strenuous activity in a couple of weeks.
  5. Finally, about thirty days after the surgery, the patient meets again with their doctor to turn on their Inspire and fine tune its stimulation impulses.

How much does the Inspire sleep apnea implant cost?

The device is covered by most insurance providers. The exact out-of-pocket cost will depend on the individual’s insurance plan. Also, the Inspire implantation procedure is mostly performed as an outpatient surgery, so there are medical bills that will have to be taken into account.

According to a article on Inspire, an individual can expect to see a total bill of around $30,000 to $40,000 for the surgery plus the cost of the Inspire sleep apnea device, before insurance.

Before Considering Surgery, Learn About The Non-invasive CPAP Alternative – Bongo Rx EPAP Therapy

If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, learn about EPAP therapy with Bongo Rx — non-invasive and effective sleep apnea treatment without the CPAP machine.

  • Bongo Rx is an FDA-cleared prescription device for the treatment of moderate or mild sleep apnea
  • Non-surgical / Non-invasive
  • Conveniently available to you whenever and wherever you want to sleep
  • Clinically tested
  • Easy to use, small and discreet
  • Requires no machine, hoses, electricity, or batteries
  • Designed, molded, and assembled in the USA
  • Affordable

In conclusion, the Inspire sleep apnea device is a promising new treatment option for a narrow qualifying group of patients with sleep apnea. While it has many advantages, including its customizable stimulation, and effectiveness, it also has some disadvantages, including its cost, complex procedure, and risk of complications. Inspire is also only appropriate for a small sub-set of sleep apnea patients.

Patients should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of this therapy and consult with their healthcare provider to determine if it is the right choice for them.

Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea may also want to try Bongo Rx, a non-invasive, low-cost solution.

(Inspire is a registered trademark of Inspire Medical Systems, Inc.)

The Bongo Rx Nominated For The Edison Awards™ 2020

The Bongo Rx Nominated For The Edison Awards™ 2020

At the beginning of the year, the Edison Awards 2020 nominees were revealed. AirAvant Medical is proud to announce that the Bongo Rx was nominated for a prestigious Edison Award. This annual competition recognizes innovative products, services, and business leaders around the world. A respected accolade, we are honored that our flagship product was named among the other Edison Awards 2020 nominees.

edison awards logo

The Edison Awards Honors Innovations and Innovators

Established in 1987 and named after renowned inventor and businessman Thomas Edison, this annual competition is open to organizations across the globe. The Edison Awards honor game-changing new products that embody innovation and human-centered design. We believe the Bongo Rx embodies these qualities by providing optimized and convenient EPAP therapy for those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The Bongo Rx Is A Game-Changing Sleep Apnea Device

The Bongo Rx is a discreet and reusable sleep apnea nasal device that has been FDA-cleared for use by patients with mild to moderate OSA. A non-surgical and effective alternative to CPAP, the Bongo Rx was designed for convenience, portability, and usability. It provides comfortable sleep apnea therapy to users, improving their sleep and supporting their active lifestyles. No electricity, no masks, and no hoses needed.

AirAvant Medical launched the Bongo Rx in 2019 after several years of research, design, and clinical testing. We believe it is a truly game-changing product and the Edison Awards 2020 nomination solidifies that distinction.

“We believe that the Bongo Rx embodies the essence of the Edison Awards. The device may look very simple at first, but its design is deceptively sophisticated and innovative in function and how it is manufactured. We believe this can be a life-changing product for those who suffer from sleep apnea, but can’t tolerate CPAP for one reason or another. The fact that it is so small and doesn’t require any electricity allows patients to use it basically anywhere and at any time – it’s extremely travel-friendly.” – Javier Collazo, Vice President of AirAvant Medical

Ask Your Doctors About The Bongo Rx

People who are seeking convenient sleep apnea therapy can turn to the Bongo Rx. A prescription nasal EPAP device, the Bongo Rx was developed to be reusable, portable, and discreet. It’s innovative and user-friendly design was recognized by the 2020 Edison Awards. The award-nominated Bongo Rx is currently available in the U.S. and Canada. AirAvant Medical plans to expand availability in the coming months. If you suffer from mild to moderate OSA, ask your doctor about the Bongo Rx!

This device could revolutionize the sleep industry…

This device could revolutionize the sleep industry…

Attention AirAvant Team,

I received the Bongo Rx device. This device could revolutionize the sleep industry, especially if it is capable of producing the same clinical improvement one sees with standard CPAP devices.

As a Sleep Apnea sufferer, I was Very Impressed with the innovative simplicity of the device. I have used the Bongo Rx device over the weekend and found it comfortable and clinically, I felt as good the next day as when I use the standard equipment.

Brazell H. Carter, MD

Brazell H. Carter, MD is a Board Certified Internal medicine specialist in Richmond, CA and has been practicing for over 4O years. He graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College School Of Medicine in 1975. Dr. Carters practice, Lifelong Medical Care, provides high quality medical, dental, and social services to people of all ages.  Dedicated to helping each patient live a health productive life, in addition of offering care, his center offers a wide range of patient educational and outreach services.

I feel extremely fresh in the morning

I feel extremely fresh in the morning

Keystone One Health Cardiology Associates

First of all the Bongo Rx has stopped me from snoring. I feel extremely fresh in the morning. I typically only sleep about six hours a night anyway, I never realized I could feel this fresh. In the past I wore a dental appliance that would leave my jaw extremely sore. It also hurt my teeth in the morning when I tried to chew food. This also does not leave a mark on my face like CPAP machines can. It can fit in my travel kit without any problem. I can’t believe it’s such a simple device and works so well. It has really changed my life.

My mother is using the Bongo Rx. My mother is in her mid-70s and I always remember her yawning and falling asleep on the sofa around eight or 9 PM, granted she was an early bird and would run 7 miles almost every morning at five and then be supermom for the rest of the day. Now when she visits she still sleeps only five hours, however she can talk to us till midnight without Yawning!!!!

She states that she is extremely fresh throughout the day as well. My dad typically sleeps one or two hours after her and states that finally after 53 years she’s not snoring when he goes to bed.


Amir Piracha, MD

Dr. Amir R Piracha, MD is a Cardiologist primarily located in Louisville, KY, with other offices in Louisville and Shepherdsville, KY. He has 24 years of experience. Dr Piracha graduated at Marshall University Joan C Edwards School Of Medicine in 1995 and completed his residency at Allegheny General Hospital.  His specialties include Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine.

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Without Snoring

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Without Snoring

Pulmonary Medicine Associates

My wife Roberta was diagnosed to have sleep apnea and had been using Resmed CPAP equipment at a setting of 9cm for control of her symptoms for 5 years. She always complained that the CPAP equipment was uncomfortable. Two months ago, she was fitted for the Bongo Rx. She loves the Bongo.

She is getting a good night’s sleep without snoring. I noticed that the Bongo Rx performs as well as CPAP for mild to moderate OSA and without the requirement of electricity, loud pumps or uncomfortable headgear.

She now travels without her CPAP equipment and continues to use her Bongo Rx without problems. She has told me that the Bongo Rx is easy to use, comfortable and that she will no longer use her CPAP equipment after using Bongo Rx.

As a pulmonary physician I have been impressed with the Bongo Rx and have witnessed firsthand the advantages of using Bongo.

Thank you for supplying Bongo.

Larry Tankanow, MD FACP FCCP

Dr. Larry Tankanow is a pulmonologist in Warren, Michigan.  His specialties include Pulmonary Disease and Internal Medicine and he is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Ascension St. John Hospital and St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital. He received his medical degree from CETEC University Santo Domingo and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is one of 28 doctors at Ascension St. John Hospital and one of 9 at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital who specialize in Pulmonology.