Inspire® Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) Therapy

Availability of Inspire Therapy
RWJ is one of the select centers at which Inspire Therapy is available in the United States.
For more information please call: 908-595-2649

About Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Inspire® Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) Therapy

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects approximately 18 million Americans. OSA occurs when the tongue and other soft tissues of the throat relax during sleep and obstruct the airway. This obstruction can happen at the soft palate, tongue base, or in many cases, both locations. When oxygen levels in the blood decrease, the brain senses a problem and arouses the body from sleep just long enough to open the airway. This cycle of obstruction and waking can repeat dozens of times per hour throughout the night, leading to an unrested night of sleep. When left untreated, OSA can lead to devastating effects on heart and brain health, including increased risk for hypertension, stroke, and heart failure, impair quality of life, and increase both motor vehicle and occupational accident risk. The annual medical costs resulting from untreated OSA are estimated at $3.4 billion.

CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is the current standard of care for OSA. Although it is often successful when used correctly and regularly, studies show about half of people given a CPAP machine are unable to use or get consistent benefit from it. Other recommended treatments for OSA include lifestyle changes, weight loss, oral appliances and surgery. Most surgical options involve removing tissue and/or permanently altering a patient's anatomy, which can contribute to significant post-operative pain and long recovery times.

About Inspire Therapy
Inspire® Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) is an FDA-approved treatment for people with moderate to severe OSA who are unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP. In contrast to CPAP, Inspire therapy works inside the body with a patient's natural breathing process. Based on these unique breathing patterns, the system delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles. By stimulating these muscles, the airway remains open during

Inspire is implanted during a short, outpatient procedure. Most patients return home the same day, and can resume non-strenuous activities within a few days or as directed by their doctor.

The Inspire system consists of a breathing sensor lead and a stimulation lead, powered by a small battery. The therapy is controlled by a small handheld sleep remote. The remote allows the patient to turn the device on before bed and off when you wake up, increase and decrease stimulation strength, and pause during the night if needed.

One month after the device is implanted, the patient returns to the physician's office to activate the device. One month after activation, the physician optimizes the therapy settings for the patient during a routine sleep study. Patients typically return once a year for a checkup.

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Inspire Therapy Advantages
In contrast to other surgical options to treat sleep apnea, Inspire therapy does not require removing or permanently altering a patient's facial or airway anatomy. As such, the procedure is less invasive and may result in a shorter recovery time. It also does not require a mask or oral appliance.

Clinical & Commercial Evidence
The STAR (Stimulation Therapy for Apnea Reduction) trial was a clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Inspire therapy. It was conducted at 22 leading medical centers across the United States and Europe. The trial closely monitored and evaluated 126 patients implanted with Inspire therapy. Enrolled patients had moderate to severe OSA, were unable to use CPAP therapy, had a body mass index of <32, and passed a comprehensive airway anatomy examination.

12-month STAR Trial results were published in the January 9, 2014 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Inspire therapy received FDA approval in April 2014. 12-month results show patients receiving Inspire therapy experienced significant reductions in sleep apnea events and significant improvements in both quality of life and daytime functioning as measured by various questionnaires. There also was a high safety profile, with an overall rate of serious adverse events of <2%.

36-month study outcomes were published in November 2015, showing the improvements observed at one year were sustained at the three-year follow-up mark.

As of January 2017, there are 28 peer-reviewed publication on the safety and efficacy of Inspire therapy. Please visit for more information.

Patient Stories

  • “Before I was so exhausted during the day I could barely accomplish certain tasks. Now I’m exhausted at the end of the day because I get so much done with all the energy I have.”

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