This podcast highlights original research in the November 2014 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, the official journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Foundation. Editor in chief John Krouse is joined by lead author B. Tucker Woodson and associate editor Sonya Malekzadeh in discussing the efficacy of hypoglossal nerve stimulation in the treatment of the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common chronic condition that has been treated with a wide range of medical and surgical methods. The current study demonstrates that the sustained use of an implantable hypoglossal nerve stimulator results in persistent reduction in both symptoms and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). In addition, it demonstrates that when use of this treatment is suspended temporarily, its beneficial effects rapidly wane. The study also suggests that additional research is necessary to define specific populations that will achieve the greatest benefit from this treatment. The author discusses some of his thoughts about current and future applications of this new technique, and proposes additional research to further characterize the patient populations most amenable to this surgical intervention.
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