Antwerp Surgeons Successfully Treat Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea With New Surgical Procedure

    ANTWERP, Belgium, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - Physicians at Antwerp University
Hospital, Belgium, have successfully treated patients with obstructive sleep
apnea with a novel surgical procedure. The procedure involves the Advance(TM)
System which consists of an implant in the tongue and lower jaw to prevent
upper airway collapse during sleep. The preliminary results of this new
procedure in the first 10 patients are promising.
    Earlier this year, a team headed by ENT-surgeon Dr. Evert Hamans,
performed the procedure successfully for the first time worldwide. This week
the results of the follow-up examinations in the first 10 operated patients
became available. A significant improvement of apnea index was achieved in all
the patients. Snoring and daytime sleepiness were significantly reduced.

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a disease where the upper airway collapses
during sleep. This obstruction results in a shortage of oxygen and
fragmentation of sleep. In Western-Europe and the USA, 4% of men and 2% of
women suffer from OSA. Most common complaints include loud snoring, excessive
daytime sleepiness and cognitive impairment. In some patients the sleepiness
is pronounced and potentially dangerous as it could result in car-accidents
Long term, these patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
    The current treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure
(CPAP) which includes the use of a ventilation mask during sleep. Although
this treatment is effective, a number of patients find it intolerable and/or
are non-compliant to this treatment. Some CPAP users seek alternative
    Other surgical treatments for OSA can be highly invasive and have high
morbidity rates requiring long hospital stay. The efficacy of these surgical
treatments for moderate or severe OSA is also limited. A lot of patients are
not willing to undergo such surgery.

    Simple procedure and short hospital stay

    The Advance procedure is short, has a low morbidity and currently
requires one night of hospital stay. The innovative aspects of this new
procedure include the ability to prevent the tongue from obstructing the upper
airway, the ability to adjust the implant to the need of the patient under
local anaesthesia and the low morbidity of the procedure.

    Antwerp University Hospital Sleep Center

    Aspire Medical, an American medical device company specializing in the
area of obstructive sleep apnea, chose Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium
to refine and perform this novel procedure for the first time worldwide. The
department of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) and the Sleep Center in this hospital
have an international expertise in innovative research for surgical and
non-surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. A team of pulmonologists,
ENT-surgeons, psychiatrists and neurologists guarantee a multidisciplinary
approach of complex sleep related breathing disorders that severely affect the
quality of life of patients.

For further information:

For further information: Dr. Evert Hamans, Department of
Otorhinolaryngology (ENT), Antwerp University Hospital (Belgium), Tel:
+32-3-821-49-20, (office): +32-476-49-7127 (mobile), Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650
Edegem (Belgium)

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