Sleep apnea impacts more than 20 million Americans. In truth, the number is likely larger as many adults have sleep apnea and do not know it.

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which a person’s breathing stops and restarts on a continuous basis. This is a potentially serious situation. The most common characteristics of a person with sleep apnea is snoring loudly and feeling tired even after a good night’s sleep. Other symptoms include:

  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability

The latest treatment option available to sufferers of sleep apnea is the use of upper airway stimulation therapy.

An upper airway stimulation system is implanted into a patient during an outpatient procedure at Rapides Regional Medical Center. The system is placed by an ENT under the skin of the neck and chest through three small incisions. Most patients return home the same day and are able to resume normal, non-strenuous activities within a few days. A few weeks after system implantation, patients undergo education before the device is activated.

Not everyone who suffers from sleep apnea is a candidate for upper airway stimulation therapy as potential patients must meet certain criteria.

Pediatric Sleep Center

The Rapides Specialty Clinic, located at Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital, is home to our Pediatric Sleep Center. It conducts outpatient sleep studies on Monday and Wednesday nights.