Faculty Advisor(s)

Kevin Seale

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© 2022 Chandler Barnes


The pathophysiology of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) relates to anatomical and non-anatomical factors. Anatomical considerations correlate to narrowing of the pharynx. When present, non-anatomical factors can intensify the severity of OSA and ease of collapsibility of upper airway tissue. The negative consequences of untreated OSA are well-defined and many treatment options are available. The novel hypoglossal nerve stimulator makes for a viable treatment option in patients who do not tolerate more traditional therapy, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and meets eligibility requirements of device implantation as outlined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Inspire® Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator has been FDA-approved since 2014. With countless reports of OSA patients who struggle to comply with CPAP therapy, this device appears to have widespread application. As successful implementation of the Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator (HNS) continues to grow, the anesthesia provider should be informed on how to safely provide anesthetics for patients with the hypoglossal nerve stimulator. This article discusses the pathophysiology of the obstructing nature of OSA and evaluates how airway management could differ in the future with anesthetized spontaneously breathing OSA patients that have the novel hypoglossal nerve stimulator compared to patients managed by more traditional therapies.


Master's capstone



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