Sleep Disorders

St. Vincent’s Inspire Therapy for Sleep Apnea

St. Vincent’s in Northeast Florida now has more sleep apnea options when your CPAP treatments are hard to tolerate. It’s called Inspire therapy.

St. Vincent’s Inspire Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Talk to an Inspire-trained doctor or your sleep specialist. You may be a candidate for Inspire therapy, an implanted device that monitors your breathing and delivers mild stimulation to the specific airway muscles that keep your airway open while you sleep. Inspire therapy was FDA approved in 2014 and has been proven both safe and effective in multiple long-term studies.

Adults with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may qualify for Inspire therapy, if you:

  • Have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
  • Are unable to tolerate or benefit from CPAP
  • Are not significantly overweight
  • Are over the age of 22

To learn more, call 904-450-6454

What to Expect

The first step is to schedule a consultation with an Ascension doctor specializing in Inspire therapy. Our care team evaluates your overall health and performs an examination of your airway anatomy, respiratory health and heart function to determine if Inspire therapy and this surgical procedure is a recommended for you.

A small handheld sleep remote controls the battery-operated, implanted device consisting of a small generator, a breathing sensor lead, and a stimulation lead. At night, turn on the system at bedtime and then off when you wake up in the morning. The battery life of the device is nearly 11 years and easily replaced, much like those in a pacemaker.


The device is implanted under the skin in the neck and chest during an outpatient, minimally invasive procedure. Inspire therapy is clinically proven to significantly reduce obstructive sleep apnea events, reduce daytime sleepiness, and improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family. After 12 months of therapy, 86 percent of the bed-partners reported either no snoring or soft snoring (based on STAR clinical trial data). 

When the device is on, it causes a mild tingling or contraction in the tongue muscles. The device is adjustable, and your doctor will monitor and adjust the device settings, as the therapy progresses. You can pause stimulation during the night, if needed. 

Supporting Compliance Standards for Commercial Drivers with Sleep Apnea

The Department of Transportation requires commercial drivers to be compliant with their sleep apnea treatment when renewing your license. As with CPAP, your doctor can print out a usage record of Inspire therapy to show the medical examiner that you are using your prescribed sleep apnea treatment.

Is Inspire Therapy Right for You?

Talk to your Ascension doctor. Having a sleep disorder disrupts your health in many ways, physically and emotionally.

Overall, this procedure is well-tolerated, and recovery is quick. Patients return to their regular diet and most activities soon after the surgery. There are precautions. Individuals with a pacemaker are not excluded from being considered for Inspire therapy. However, talk to your care team about how Inspire therapy fits with your occupation or activities, especially those that involve consistent upper body lifting and movement. There are also medical imaging precautions when having an MRI. Our care team will educate you about how to best manage your sleep condition to improve your overall health.

More than 250 health insurance plans cover Inspire therapy. Medicare covers the procedure based on medical necessity. Inspire is also available at select VA and military hospitals.