USF Health, Tampa General Hospital 1st in state to introduce novel central sleep apnea procedure

USF Health and Tampa General Hospital are the first in Florida to offer a new procedure involving a pacemaker-like device to treat central sleep apnea, a disorder that causes regular breathing disruptions during sleep and can lead to heart failure if untreated, the health system said Feb. 19. 

The device, made my Respicardia, is a small implant the cardiologist places in the patient's chest to regulate breathing during sleep. It works by activating the phrenic nerve, which tells the diaphragm to stimulate breathing. 

After the procedure, 91 percent of patients experience improvements in their nighttime breathing, according to a cardiologist at Tampa General Hospital.

"The device is proven to be effective at reducing the number of times breathing stops during sleep," said Bengt Herweg, MD, medical director of electrophysiology at the hospital and professor at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. "Before the introduction of this device, other standard therapies for central sleep apnea such as continuous positive airway pressure machines simply were not effective." 

More articles on cardiology:
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American Heart Association names latest addition to top mitral valve surgery program list
UPMC Pinnacle cardiologist to demonstrate TAVR procedures via live broadcasts


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