Elastic Band Snore Therapy
Elastic band implants tighten muscles in the tongue to stop noisy vibrations.
18:27 13 July 2016
Elastic band implants that are attached by a surgeon in a minor procedure have been approved for testing in the UK and are currently being studied in 50 patients across Europe.
The tiny devices are designed to target sleep apnoea, a condition wherein the airways are blocked because the throat and tongue tissue relax during sleep. As a result, the patient can stop breathing for short periods during the night, causing them to wake up repeatedly.
Currently, the condition is managed with a facemask called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). It works by delivering pressurised air to prevent tissue from collapsing and the airway closing. Although proven to be highly effective, many people find the devices too uncomfortable to wear.
The new implant, the Revent Sleep Apnoea System, is a long piece of elastic with a loop on each end. Each loop is woven into the tissue under the tongue. It is flexible and can stretch with normal activity, such as eating and talking.
Results from an initial human trial last month showed that the device was easy to implant into 40 patients and was well-tolerated. The patients are being monitored in a sleep lab to see if the implant reduces snoring.