Miss. woman says new device for those suffering from sleep apnea will 'change your life’

Miss. woman says new device for sleep apnea will 'change your life’

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you suffer from sleep apnea, there is a new treatment out there that can help you to finally get a good nights rest.

An implanted small device is designed to provide long-term relief addressing the root cause of sleep apnea and giving patients hope.

Susan Walters, 77, has lived with sleep apnea for years.

“I thought everyone had the problems I had,” she said.

After countless sleepless nights, Walters realized it was time to finally make a change.

Sleep specialist with the University of Mississippi Medical Center found her condition was more serious then she could have imagined.

“They realized my brain wasn’t resting sixty-one times an hour. Almost once a minute. That’s considered to be pretty severe.”

Just when she gave up hope of ever getting a good nights rest, she learned about a new treatment.

That’s when Dr. Andrea Lewis, a sleep medicine specialist and associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, came into play.

“So, it’s a small implanted device that delivers a gentle impulse to the tongue and upper airway muscles," Lewis explained. "It works at the root of the problem and opens the airways while you sleep.”

“I went to see Dr. Lewis, an ENT doctor, and she said ‘Well, we can do the surgery if you’re ready’ and I said 'Oh, I am ready. I want to get rid of this mask,” Walters said.

Since the 80s, the number one treatment for sleep apnea has been the CPAP.

“The problem with CPAP is that a lot of people can’t tolerate it,” Lewis said. “Anyone who has ever used a CPAP mask will tell you there are so many things about it that is so uncomfortable.”

Here’s the benefits of the procedure: it’s an outpatient procedure, FDA-approved, provides long-term relief, and has a battery life of 11 years.

Dr. Lewis says insurance will cover the cost of qualified patients and breaks down how the procedure works.

“Patients have a remote where they can turn on the device at night before bed. When they go to sleep they get a gentle impulse that coordinates with their breathing and opens airways so they can breathe!"

“It is so much better and now I feel so rested in the mornings,” Lewis said. “I think going under the knife is completely worth it because this will change your life."

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