Both Husband and Wife Benefit from Inspire Therapy

August 27, 2018
Both Husband and Wife Benefit from Inspire Therapy

Getting a good night’s sleep – and not annoying his wife – was a struggle for Daniel Zawacki until he scheduled a visit with Dr. Mark D’Agostino and received Inspire Therapy.

Dr D'Agostino Middlesex Hospital

Dr. D'Agostino is Middlesex Health’s* Chief of Otolaryngology, and Inspire is a type of therapy that treats sleep apnea by implanting a wire that senses breathing into the patient. The unit operates similar to a pacemaker. It’s a pulse generator. There’s also a stimulation cuff that is placed around a nerve that controls the tongue. A patient controls the therapy with a remote control.

“I was a big snorer,” Daniel says. “It was horrible. I was very restless. That doesn’t happen any more.”

After enduring sleep studies and attempting to use different types of CPAP masks, Daniel had a simple outpatient procedure about four years ago to implant his device. Inspire Therapy was new, and Middlesex Health* was one of the first to offer it.

A few years later, Daniel’s wife, Christine, noticed that she was restless at night, always tired and experiencing hot flashes and weight gain. Her husband kindly informed her that she also snored.

“I said, ‘I’ve got to take responsibility for this,’” Christine says. “People don’t get how bad it is to be deprived of oxygen.”

Christine made an appointment with Dr. D’Agostino, was tested for sleep apnea and received Inspire Therapy in January.

“You feel different,” Christine says when trying to explain how Inspire Therapy has helped her.

Middlesex Hospital Inspire Therapy

The Zawacki’s recently moved to Georgia from Middlefield and are thought to be the first couple to ever receive Inspire Therapy. They both say Inspire Therapy has changed their lives for the better and credit Dr. D’Agostino for helping improve their health and quality of life.

Sleep apnea is a serious problem with several potentially negative side effects, including high blood pressure, heart beat failure and stroke. Symptoms of sleep apnea include, but are not limited to, getting up frequently to use the restroom, waking up feeling tired and not well rested, excessive daytime sleepiness, waking up with headaches and problems with memory or concentration. If you note any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.

To be eligible to receive Inspire Therapy, you must be 22 or older and must have failed CPAP therapy. You must have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea with an apnea-hypopnea index between 15-65 and less than 25 percent central sleep apnea. You must also have a body mass index at or below 32. Patients should not be significantly overweight.

*Middlesex Hospital is now Middlesex Health. This article has been updated from its original version to reflect the health system's new name and brand.

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