Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital Celebrates 300th Inspire Implant – A Milestone in Transforming Lives

Jan 24, 2024

Media Interviews available

Randy Livingston, Inspire representatives, Dr. Emami, Dr. Patel, and David Ziolkowski
Randy Livingston, Inspire representatives, Dr. Emami, Dr. Patel, and David Ziolkowski

TUCSON (January 25, 2024) – Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital is proud to announce the achievement of a significant milestone by successfully completing the implantation of 300 Inspire Implants. The hospital has played a pivotal role in advancing the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital OR Staff
Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital OR Staff

Dr. AJ Emami, an Otolaryngologist, was noted as one of the first Inspire implanters in the state of Arizona and remains one of the busiest surgeons in the southwest specializing in the implantation of this medical device in the southwest. Another notable achievement comes from Dr. Niki Patel, an Otolaryngologist, who, according to an Inspire spokesperson, has surpassed all new surgeons nationwide in 2023 with the highest number of Inspire implants performed.

Inspire, an FDA-approved OSA treatment, caters to individuals unable to use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. Addressing a critical health issue affecting 22 million Americans, this innovative solution helps prevent accidents, mood and memory issues, strokes, heart attacks, and other health complications associated with untreated OSA.

Inspire works in tandem with the body's natural breathing process, using mild stimulation to open the airway during sleep, allowing oxygen to flow naturally. The system is implanted through a short outpatient procedure, and patients typically return home the same day.

Randy Livingston, the first patient to undergo Inspire implantation at Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital and in southern Arizona, serves as a local ambassador, educating the community about the positive impact of this therapy. Since receiving his implant from Dr. Emami in 2017, Livingston has not only become an advocate but also experienced a significant improvement in his overall well-being, shedding 30 pounds and attributing the positive change to increased energy resulting from improved oxygen flow.

"I love Dr. Emami and St. Mary's, they are really patient-first! The Inspire device really brought my life back. I felt I was very close to a significant incident like a heart attack or stroke with how my life was going and how I was feeling. This procedure saved my life,” said Livingston.

The 300th implant milestone was commemorated with celebrations for the operating room staff, hospital leadership, Inspire representatives, and Livingston at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital.

Randy Livingston in 2017, 30lbs heavier, before receving his Inspire Implant
Randy Livingston in 2017, 30lbs heavier, before receving his Inspire Implant
Randy Livingston in 2017, 30lbs heavier, before receving his Inspire Implant

"This milestone reflects our steadfast commitment to providing advanced and high-quality healthcare solutions. The 300th implant is a testament to our dedication to improving the lives of those affected by sleep apnea and underscores our position as a leader in healthcare innovation,” said David Ziolkowski, Carondelet St. Mary’s Chief Executive Officer.

Illustrations of how the implant is in the body
Illustrations of how the implant is in the body

"Being part of the early journey of Inspire has been very rewarding. Witnessing its impact on patients' lives and reaching the 300th implant is a testament to the efficacy and importance of this groundbreaking treatment,” said Dr. Emami. “Inspire offers a lifeline to patients who struggle with traditional therapies, and we are excited to continue providing this transformative solution."

Actual inplant and controller
Actual inplant and controller

Carondelet Health Network’s providers, sleep technologists, and highly trained staff are committed to identifying the causes of patients’ sleep problems, alleviating symptoms, and improving sleep patterns. Both St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Hospitals offer comprehensive services, including patient education, evaluation, diagnosis, and specialized medical technology to treat sleep disorders.


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