SOURCE: NorthShore University HealthSystem

NorthShore University HealthSystem

September 30, 2015 12:48 ET

NorthShore University HealthSystem First in Illinois to Perform Innovative, New Procedure to Help Cure Obstructive Sleep Apnea

EVANSTON, IL--(Marketwired - September 30, 2015) - NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) is the first health system in Illinois to implant a new, minimally invasive breathing device in a patient to help cure obstructive sleep apnea.

This breakthrough procedure -- recently approved by the FDA -- was completed Sept. 16 at NorthShore Evanston Hospital by Otolaryngologists Mihir Bhayani, MD, and Jonathan Pomerantz, MD. It involved implanting a pacemaker-like device in the patient's chest that senses the breathing cycle and stimulates a nerve in the tongue, helping keep the tongue down and the airway open. The procedure requires only three small incisions -- in the neck and chest.

"This is an exciting, new alternative to more invasive surgical techniques that have much lower success rates," said Mark E. Gerber, MD, Division Chief of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at NorthShore. "We are proud to be the first in the state to offer this advanced technique."

As many as 50 percent of patients with obstructive sleep apnea are unable or unwilling to use the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask, Dr. Gerber said. By contrast, all it takes to activate the new implanted sensor is pressing a button on a hand-held device before going to sleep.

Marked by snoring, obstructive sleep apnea causes people to temporarily stop breathing and interferes with restful sleep. It affects about 18 million people, and if left untreated, can lead to cardiovascular problems.

"This new procedure represents a dramatic advancement for a serious condition, and a highly effective alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the CPAP sleeping masks," Dr. Pomerantz said.

The device, made by Inspire Medical Systems, Inc., is designed for people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea who are unable to use CPAP. The procedure done at NorthShore was covered by insurance.

About NorthShore Sleep Center
NorthShore operates two full-service sleep labs for the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of such disorders as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, night terrors, snoring, insomnia and narcolepsy. The Sleep Center is directed by sleep specialists certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine. After an initial evaluation by a sleep specialist, patients may be referred for an outpatient sleep study conducted by experienced technologists at one of our sleep centers. For more information, call 847.663.8200.

About NorthShore University HealthSystem
NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) is an integrated healthcare delivery system, headquartered in Evanston, Illinois. NorthShore has four hospitals -- Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park and Skokie -- and a multispecialty physician practice, NorthShore Medical Group, comprised of 900 primary and specialty care physicians located in the Chicagoland area. NorthShore is a Magnet recognized organization, the first system in Illinois designated as such and redesignated in 2015 with this honor demonstrating excellence in nursing. The system also includes the NorthShore Research Institute and NorthShore Foundation. In 2003, NorthShore was among the first in the U.S. to successfully launch an electronic medical record system. In addition, as part of its community health initiatives, NorthShore has contributed more than $250 million in charitable care and services.

Contact Information