Sleep Apnea Device Gets Green Light
The first implantable device to treat sleep apnea has received FDA approval. RestoreMedical's Pillar Procedure requires implanting 3 inserts into the soft pallet, stiffening the tissue,and reducing airway obstruction. The inserts, each less than an inch long, are madefrom a woven soft polyester that has been used for many years in other implantable medicalproducts, according to the company. Patients can have the device installed in a singleoffice visit under a local anesthetic. The company said that the procedure, approved lastyear to treat snoring, is completely reversible.
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of the disorder, occurs when the softtissue in the back of the throat collapses and closes while sleeping. The disorder can resultin individuals snoring loudly and waking up as many as 20 to 30 times an hour.