MIKE’S SLEEP APNEA DISRUPTED HIS SLEEP AND LIFESTYLE UNTIL HE FOUND A THERAPY OFFERED AT HIS LOCAL VA HOSPITAL.
Seamus J., Respicardia: Hi Mike. Thank you for joining us. Before we get started, can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Mike Hutson, remedē patient: I am 73 years old and retired. I come from a family of nine and all of us are Illinois residents. I am the 4th in the family. Some of my brothers have sleep apnea – both central and obstructive. I currently live in Danville, Illinois and I am a veteran.
Living with central sleep apnea
Mike: Initially I didn’t know about sleep apnea or CSA and I did not know that I had that specific disease. My main symptom was sleep disruption. I also had a lot of tiredness throughout my workday. I have been retired for 6 years now but when I was working as a sales representative and traveling, I would have to relax a bit more in the early evenings. I would run out of energy earlier in the day. In addition to feeling tired, I snored a lot when I slept which took a toll on the people around me. It was disruptive to my lifestyle.
When I finally learned about sleep apnea, it was appalling that 40% of heart attacks in men in general can be associated with sleep apnea [author note: although various associations between sleep apnea and cardiac disease have been published, this specific statistic cannot be verified]. That is when I started learning about sleep apnea.
Seamus: How did you get diagnosed and find out that you had central sleep apnea?
Mike: Being diagnosed with CSA happened by chance. I did a sleep study here in Danville at the VA clinic. The results came back with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 48.3 events per hour, but I did not know what it meant. When I browsed online, I did not find much about sleep apnea. So, I went to the doctor in October of 2019, where I found that I had more central events than obstructive. My doctor told me about Respicardia and the remedē System.
Exploring treatment options for central sleep apnea
THE RESULTS CAME BACK WITH AN APNEA-HYPOPNEA INDEX (AHI) OF 48.3 EVENTS PER HOUR
Seamus: Prior to remedē, were there any other therapies you had tried to treat CSA?
Mike: Before I knew that I had CSA, I found lots of therapies on the internet. So, I tried different kinds of treatments. I tried chin straps and mouth pieces, but none of them seemed to work. I tried various other therapies and I hoped they would help, but they did not. Then, once I knew I had CSA, my doctor got me started with a bipap machine because my VA hospital was still not approved for remedē.
Getting the remedē System
Seamus: Did you have any concerns about remedē prior to getting the implant?
Mike: Not really. I was at a point where I knew I had moderate to severe CSA. At that point I was willing to do
anything. I also got a lot of information from Respicardia’s website, spoke to the patient liaison, and attended
the webinar on CSA and the remedē System. Also, I found there weren’t a lot of other treatment options
available for CSA.
Seamus: Can you speak to the recovery process? How did you feel the following weeks after the procedure?
Mike: I was implanted in May of 2020 and I had a smooth recovery process. I had no pain or any other issues. What amazed me the most was that it was an outpatient procedure. But I was the first patient at that VA to have the remedē implant and so I was asked to stay overnight.
Seamus: Were there any short-term or long-term restrictions following the procedure?
Mike: They asked me not to play golf immediately after the procedure until I had healed. But that was just a short-term restriction. I did not have any long-term restrictions.
Seamus: What did the therapy feel like the first time?
Mike: It was a strange feeling when the stimulation started on the first night. I was not asleep yet. It was different to feel something helping you breathe. It was just about getting used to something different.
Living with treated central sleep apnea
Seamus: Now that you have had the therapy for a while, how have you been sleeping?
Mike: I have been sleeping really well. I sleep for 6 to 7 hours every night. I wake up only once in the night but can go back to sleep without an issue. The device does not wake me up and I am used to it.
Seamus: What effect has sleeping better had on your daily life?
Mike: I have more energy and drive. I am an early riser and when I wake up, I am ready to go. For example, this morning I had a list of 10 things to do and by 10am I had 9 of the 10 things done. I get through the day very well.
My lifestyle has really changed for the better!
COULD THE remedē SYSTEM BE RIGHT FOR YOU?
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Important safety information
The remedē® System is indicated for moderate to severe Central Sleep Apnea in adult patients.
Your doctor will need to evaluate your condition to determine if the remedē system is right for you. You will not be able to have an MRI or diathermy (special heat therapies) if you have the remedē system implanted. The remedē® System may be used if you have another stimulation device such as a heart pacemaker or defibrillator; special testing will be needed to ensure the devices are not interacting.
As with any surgically implanted device, there are risks related to the surgical procedure itself which may include, but are not limited to, pain, swelling, and infection.
Once the therapy is turned on, some patients may experience discomfort from stimulation and/or from the presence of the device. The majority of these events are resolved either on their own or by adjusting the therapy settings. The remedē® System may not work for everyone. There are additional risks associated with removing your system. If you and your doctor decide to remove the system, another surgery will be required.
Be sure to talk with your doctor so that you thoroughly understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of the remedē® System.
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