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Sleep Disorders CenterU.S. News Badge for Ear, Nose and Throat

Tampa General Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center has received accreditation by the American Academies of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Additionally, we are proud to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals and highest ranked in Florida for Ear, Nose & Throat.
This center provides evaluation and follow-up care for children and adults with a variety of sleep-related disorders including:
Snoring: The noisy breathing during sleep caused by vibrations in the walls of the throat. The narrower the airways become, the louder the snoring. This condition can cause disruptions to the affected person's sleep or the sleep of the person's bed partner and lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, weight gain, morning headaches, and loss of concentration, memory or attention.
Restless limb syndrome: A neurologic disorder characterized by the urge to move the limbs while at rest leading to disruption of sleep.
Insomnia: A chronic inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for an adequate length of time.
Narcolepsy: A disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable, though often brief, attacks of deep sleep, sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations.
Sleep apnea: A condition in which breathing stops or gets very shallow during sleep. Each pause in breathing typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more and can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour.
Obstructive sleep apnea: A form of sleep apnea that is caused by the obstruction of the upper airway by weak or malformed pharyngeal tissues. It occurs especially in obese, middle-aged and elderly men and results in an insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood, as well as chronic drowsiness during the day. It is also often called obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
Parasomnias: Any of several disorders that frequently interfere with sleep, occurring especially among children and includes sleepwalking, night terrors, and bed-wetting.


In order to better evaluate patients' sleep patterns and help physicians determine the best treatment options, the Sleep Disorders Center offers a polysomnogram, a test that measures bodily functions during sleep through the use of electrodes.  Measurements taken include:

  • Brain waves
  • Heartbeats
  • Eye movements
  • Chin movements
  • Leg movements
  • Breathing
  • Blood oxygen levels

Other bodily functions may be recorded to answer questions about such things as chest pains and health issues. Video monitoring may also be used.

Once patients’ results are reviewed by one or our licensed sleep technologists or respiratory therapists, a summary is sent to one of our board certified sleep physicians. Once completed, a diagnosis and recommended treatment is sent to the patient’s primary care physician or the physician who ordered the study. TGH provides clinical services to address these common sleep disorders such as:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing and snoring
  • Radiofrequency ablation of problem sleep areas (somnoplasty/coblation)
  • Nonsurgical treatment of sleep apnea including CPAP/BIPAP and dental appliances
  • Multilevel surgical treatment of snoring and sleep apnea

Implantable Device for Sleep Apnea

Tampa General Hospital now implants a new pacemaker-like device for sleep apnea patients unable to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Inspire therapy is the first kind of device that keeps airways open by sending a mild electrical shock that prevents the tongue from relaxing and obstructing the airway.  One of the main causes of sleep apnea is that the tongue and throat muscles relax too much during sleep and can block breathing and wake the patient. People who suffer from sleep apnea lose important deep sleep time which can put them at higher risk for accidents, heart attack and stroke.

Joseph Geary had an inspire devie implanted by Dr. Tapan Padhya to help control his sleep apnea. Photographed at his home in Riverview on Aug. 25, 2015.Click here to read and watch video about how TGH is among the first in the nation to offer this 'sleep pacemaker' to sleep apnea patients and here from the first non-clinical trial patient in Florida to receive it. Inspire therapy is a fully implanted system consisting of three components: a small generator, a sensing lead and a stimulation lead. The single external component is a small handheld Inspire sleep remote used to turn the therapy on before bed and off upon waking. When activated, Inspire therapy senses breathing patterns and delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which keeps the airway open during sleep. In contrast to other surgical options to treat sleep apnea, Inspire therapy does not require removal or permanent alteration of facial or airway anatomy. As such, the procedure is less invasive and should result in a shorter recovery time. The procedure to implant the pacemaker-like device requires an overnight hospital stay and the device may need some adjustments during the first few months, which can be made during an office visit.  The pacemaker will need to be replaced approximately seven to nine years after implantation due to battery life. Click the animation video below to learn more about how Inspire therapy works.

Between 12 and 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, according to the National Institutes of Health, and it’s more common in overweight, middle-aged men, but anyone can have it.