Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator
1; 1; 2; 1
1 Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, Duke University Medical Center
2 Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition with several effective treatment strategies centered around relieving airway obstruction. The gold standard for OSA treatment remains continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), but other options exist.
A recent therapy developed within the past decade utilizes hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HGNS) through a surgically implanted device. As the patient inspires, the device sends an electrical impulse similar to a cardiac pacemaker. The impulse activates targeted branches of the hypoglossal nerve, leading to stimulation of muscles that protrude the tongue and open the airway posteriorly. This mechanism has been shown to reduce airway obstruction by activating these muscles during inspiration.
Along with detailing the chronological order of events, this case outlines various complex anatomical structures that are identified in order to safely and effectively implant the hypoglossal nerve stimulator.