Antwerp Surgeons Successfully Treat Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea With New Surgical Procedure

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 General News
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ANTWERP, Belgium, August 21 Physicians at AntwerpUniversity Hospital, Belgium, have successfully treated patients withobstructive sleep apnea with a novel surgical procedure. The procedureinvolves the Advance(tm) System which consists of an implant in the tongueand lower jaw to prevent upper airway collapse during sleep. The preliminaryresults of this new procedure in the first 10 patients are promising.

Earlier this year, a team headed by ENT-surgeon Dr. Evert Hamans,performed the procedure successfully for the first time worldwide. This weekthe results of the follow-up examinations in the first 10 operated patientsbecame available. A significant improvement of apnea index was achieved inall the patients. Snoring and daytime sleepiness were significantly reduced.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disease where the upper airway collapsesduring sleep. This obstruction results in a shortage of oxygen andfragmentation of sleep. In Western-Europe and the USA, 4% of men and 2% ofwomen suffer from OSA. Most common complaints include loud snoring, excessivedaytime sleepiness and cognitive impairment. In some patients the sleepinessis pronounced and potentially dangerous as it could result in car-accidentsLong term, these patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The current treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure(CPAP) which includes the use of a ventilation mask during sleep. Althoughthis treatment is effective, a number of patients find it intolerable and/orare non-compliant to this treatment. Some CPAP users seek alternativesolutions.

Other surgical treatments for OSA can be highly invasive and have highmorbidity rates requiring long hospital stay. The efficacy of these surgicaltreatments for moderate or severe OSA is also limited. A lot of patients arenot willing to undergo such surgery.

Simple procedure and short hospital stay

The Advance procedure is short, has a low morbidity and currentlyrequires one night of hospital stay. The innovative aspects of this newprocedure include the ability to prevent the tongue from obstructing theupper airway, the ability to adjust the implant to the need of the patientunder local anaesthesia and the low morbidity of the procedure.

Antwerp University Hospital Sleep Center

Aspire Medical, an American medical device company specializing in thearea of obstructive sleep apnea, chose Antwerp University Hospital in Belgiumto refine and perform this novel procedure for the first time worldwide. Thedepartment of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) and the Sleep Center in this hospitalhave an international expertise in innovative research for surgical andnon-surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. A team of pulmonologists,ENT-surgeons, psychiatrists and neurologists guarantee a multidisciplinaryapproach of complex sleep related breathing disorders that severely affectthe quality of life of patients.

SOURCE Antwerp University Hospital

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