ST. CLOUD -- If you suffer from Sleep Apnea and a CPAP machine just doesn't cut it, a relatively new procedure may be the key to a good night's rest.

Sleep Apnea is where your tongue blocks your airway making it difficult to breathe.

Dr. Ronald Hanson is a Physician at the St. Cloud Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic. He says the new surgery implants a small device geared towards contracting your tongue's muscles to help you breathe at night.

"The patient has a small remote they hold over the device to activate it. The device will give them 30 minutes to fall asleep, then the device senses every breath and sends the signal to the pulse generator which activates and keep the tongue tense and forward so it doesn't obstruct the airway."

Hanson says they've performed roughly 30 procedures since beginning three years ago, and they're pleased with the results.

"Our typical patient will have about 30 apnea events an hour, where they stop breathing for 10 seconds. When we study them after the surgery the same patient has about 4 apnea events an hour which is well in the normal range."


Hanson says the surgery is not a cure all and if a CPAP machine works for you to continue to use it.

He adds patients wanting this procedure do need to fit a certain criteria to be eligible for the surgery and it is covered under insurance.

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