Surgical Options

Upper Airway Stimulation

Patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are frequently recommended a CPAP. Some of those using this breathing machine may have trouble tolerating the device. Upper airway stimulation is a new, surgical option for those needing an alternative to their CPAP.

How it Works

UAS consists of implanting a small pacemaker-like device in the upper chest. A small electrode runs underneath the skin from the device and is connected to one of the major nerves in the throat. At night, patients turn on a remote control device that activates their UAS device. While they are sleeping, the device provides pulses of energy to keep the tongue from falling back into the throat, allowing for a good night’s rest.

Patients must meet specific criteria in order to be a candidate for upper airway stimulation.

  • Has moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
  • CPAP therapy does not work.
  • BMI less than 32.

UAS is available through UTMP Otolaryngologist M. Boyd Gillespie, MD

Watch the video to hear Dr. Gillespie talk about sleep apnea and upper airway stimulation. 


Request More Information

If you think you may be a candidate for UAS, please complete the form below.