The latest trend in treating patients suffering from sleep apnea is an electronic pacemaker implanted just beneath the skin of the chest.

The implant gets signals from a sensor between the ribs when the chest expands. It sends an impulse to the nerve which controls the base of the tongue causing it to protrude, opening the throat just in time for the person to inhale while he or she is asleep, said sleep specialist and fellow of the American Board of Sleep Medicine Satya Bhanu Chaparala.

Dr Satya Bhanu, who is here to speak at the Symposium – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), being organised by Aayush Hospitals interacting with the mediapersons on Friday said the pacemaker was being used to treat hard-to-treat sleep apnoea cases.

Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which the patient’s breathing pauses or grows shallow while they are asleep. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnoea in which the patient’s airway collapses during sleep.

Dr Satya Bhanu has been working with a Sleep Study Centre in the State of Michigan, USA, for the past 25 years.

He said CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine continued to be the standard way to treat sleep apnea. The pacemaker had come as an alternative to tracheotomy (puncturing of the trachea) for treating severe obstructive sleep apnoea.

Aayush Hospital chairman Y. Ramesh Babu said sleep apnoea had gained recognised as an important health issue in the last three decades. Awareness about it was, however, relatively low even among members of the medical profession. Aayush Hospitals was conducting a CME on the subject at D.V. Manor on Saturday. Siddhartha Medical College principal and HOD of Anaesthesiology A. Krishnamurthy Sastry would inaugurate the programme. Dr Satya Bhanu will chair a session on ‘Management of Sleep Apnoea’. Aayush pulmonologist M.S. Gopala Krishna and cardiologist P.S.S. Chowdary would also chair separate sessions, Dr Ramesh Babu said .

‘An electronic pacemaker is implanted just beneath skin of chest of the patients’

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