How Does a Sleep Apnea Implant Work?

Published: September 20, 2022

An implant that allows you to breathe easily during sleep. It’s also called an upper airway stimulation device. A sleep apnea specialist near me will implant the device in your upper right chest beneath the skin. It has four main parts:

Generator: The generator is implanted under your collarbone, has a battery, and produces electrical signals.

Breathing sensor: A surgeon implants a breathing sensor inside your chest near your ribs. And it is directly connected to the generator.

Stimulation electrode cuff: this component is pleased around the hyoglossal nerve and connected to the generator.

Remote control: This is an external component, and you can use it to control the strength of the simulation. When you breathe, the sensor sends electrical signals to the generator. This triggers the generator to send signals to the electorate, stimulating the hypoglossal nerve.

Are internal sleep apnea devices effective?

According to a reliable source, upper airway stimulation is widely used to treat sleep apnea disorder. These devices significantly reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.

Implanted devices vs. CPAP machines

Both implanted devices and CPAP machine work in different ways.

An implanted appliance stimulates the hypoglossal nerve, which directly connects to the tongue. On the other hand, the CPAP machine uses a constant stream of pressure to open your airways. It did not stimulate your nerves or tongue muscles. With regular use, CPAP machines are highly effective. However, the adherence rate of appliances is low. Implanted devices are also effective and have a higher adherence rate than CPAP.

Sleep apnea implant surgery

Implant surgery is an entirely outpatient procedure and takes just 90 to 180 minutes to complete.

Potential drawbacks, risks, and side effects

Unlike all medical surgery, implant surgery also has some risks:

  • Excessive swelling at the incision sites
  • Immense Pain
  • Too much bleeding
  • Infection
  • Unpredicted reactions to the anesthesia

Your chest device can possess several risks, such as:

  • Damage to the blood vessel near the surgery
  • Blood vessel damage near the implant
  • Injury or nerve damage
  • Reaction to the device material or allergy
  • Irritation and swelling
  • Discomfort due to nerve stimulation

Changes in stimulation due to loose device connections

  • Tongue weakness
  • Difficulty while moving your tongue

Another possible limitation is the remote. If you misplace or lose the remove, or if your children find it, you can’t use the device properly. So, visit the sleep apnea clinic Houston to know what is best for you.

Who should consider a sleep apnea implant?

A sleep apnea implant is not for all candidates. You’re eligible if you have moderate to severe Obstructive sleep apnea:

  • If you are unwilling to use a CPAP machine
  • If you don’t have a blocked upper airway
  • Have no success during other sleep apnea treatment
  • Are unable to get tonsils removed

You should prevent getting the surgery if you:

  • Only suffer from central sleep apnea
  • If you have upper airways blocked


Suppose you’re eligible for a sleep apnea implant but are confused about the treatment and device. Then you should consider visiting sleep apnea Houston TX, to learn about sleep apnea implant treatment.

Share This Post!

If you liked this post, share it!!