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  • Tampa General Hospital/USF Health’s Dr. Tapan Padhya Achieves a Milestone in Helping Sleep Apnea Patients

    Tampa General Hospital/USF Health’s Dr. Tapan Padhya Achieves a Milestone in Helping Sleep Apnea Patients

    The Inspire device gives Tampa General Hospital and USF Health patients a compact, user-friendly alternative to traditional treatments.
    Tampa, FL (Jan. 10, 2022) – Dr. Tapan Padhya, professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and medical director of Tampa General Hospital's Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, has completed a landmark 250th procedure of an implantable device that can significantly reduce the snoring and oxygen deprivation caused by obstructive sleep apnea.
    The minimally invasive treatment works inside one’s body, utilizing a device similar to a cardiac pacemaker and activated by a small remote control. Padhya, a renowned ear, nose, and throat physician, was an investigator in the original clinical trial that helped gain FDA approval for the device in 2014.
    A year later, he performed the first procedure known as hypoglossal nerve implant in the state of Florida. “This surgery has real potential to help our patients return to a normal quality of life. In fact, over 85 percent of patients experience a significant reduction in sleep apnea events,” Padhya said. “This procedure is just one example of how we are working to achieve Tampa General's vision to be the safest and most innovative academic health system in America.”
    Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that can occur when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, reducing or completely stopping airflow. When someone with sleep apnea falls asleep, the muscles around their tongue and throat relax. Sleep apnea afflicts more than 18 million people, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other issues.
    The device that Padhya implants is placed underneath the skin near the collarbone during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure and turned on shortly after the procedure is complete. Electrical connectors beneath the skin deliver a small electrical stimulus to the base of the tongue when a patient takes a breath. “It gently pushes the tongue out to help the airflow,” Padhya said. “With an open airway, patients don’t have that struggle to breathe and can experience a more restful sleep.”
    The device offers an alternative to the most common treatment of sleep apnea, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. The CPAP supplies pressurized air flowing into the person’s throat, preventing the airway from closing. Some patients find the device cumbersome, distracting, and uncomfortable. 
    Called Inspire, the compact design of the implanted pacemaker-like device can be a less obtrusive option. It is easily activated by a remote control before a patient goes to bed.
    Padhya’s commitment to excellence in patient care was recently recognized by Inspire, which named him as a Physician of Excellence. The award honors Padhya for his focus on providing his patients with an exceptional experience.
    Tampa General’s Sleep Disorders Center offers assessment and continuing care for adults and children suffering from an assortment of sleeping disorders. It is the first center in the U.S. to be accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). For more information on sleep disorders and treatment, visit the Sleep Disorders Center