Featured News

Photos: Edward Milligan, MD and Ameya Asarkar, MD

The Overton Brooks VA Medical Center now offers a medically advanced, FDA-approved, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment option for Veterans unable to tolerate conventional Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.

“Inspire® represents a significant advancement in treating sleep apnea,” said Ameya Asarkar, M.D., a Shreveport VA ENT-otolaryngologist and assistant professor at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Academic Medical Center. “It is clinically proven to reduce sleep apnea events, has a high level of patient satisfaction, and if a patient meets all the eligibility criteria, they find it easy to use.”

People with OSA have a collapsed or blocked airway that prevents them from getting enough air into their lungs while they sleep. They may snore, wake up frequently during the night, experience daytime sleepiness, and/or have difficulty concentrating. If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can also contribute to more serious health issues, such as high blood pressure. OSA affects more than 22 million Americans.

For people who cannot tolerate using a CPAP, Inspire® may offer an innovative alternative. It is a surgically-implanted system that monitors a person’s unique breathing patterns and provides just enough stimulation to contract the throat muscles to keep them airway open during sleep, allowing oxygen to flow naturally.

“If you are a candidate for this procedure, don’t be afraid, go for it,” said a 50-year-old Army veteran, who recently returned for his first examination following having the procedure. “All the doctors and the nurses at the Shreveport VA have been top-shelf.”

The Inspire® system is implanted during a short, outpatient procedure. The system is placed under the skin of the neck and chest through three small incisions. Most patients return home the same day and take over-the-counter pain medications to manage any incision pain.

“I am proud of the skills and talents our surgical team has to offer,” said Otolaryngology Section Chief Edward Milligan, M.D., FAAO-HNS, who is also board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology. “Our team constantly strives to open new doors and make new, medical alternatives available for our Veterans.”

To learn more, contact the Otolaryngology Clinic at (318) 221-8411, ext. 7745. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, patients are asked to consider virtual care as an alternative to discuss surgical procedures. Not all patients are deemed good candidates for this elective procedure.

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