Trident Health System
September 06, 2022

Charleston, SC – Dr. Eric Lentsch with Head and Neck Specialists - Charleston has been recognized as a national Physician of Excellence by the manufacturer of the hypoglossal nerve stimulator, an implanted device that relieves moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a common and serious sleep disorder.

“Of all the procedures I do this is my favorite,” said Dr. Lentsch, an Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery specialist. “It truly is a life changing procedure. It restores sleep, which dramatically improves the patient’s quality of life. I hear many patients say it saved their marriage and their life.”

Following a review of Dr. Lentsch’s record of installing the hypoglossal nerve stimulator he was recognized as best in class for his patient outcomes; his commitment to his patients; and the overall patient experience. “Any success we are being recognized for is largely due to the team I work with. Kiely St. Germain, NP-C, and Brittney Fitzgerald, PAC, are very important team members and are critical to our patient outcomes and experience.”

The hypoglossal nerve stimulator reduces the occurrence of OSA by electrically stimulating the hypoglossal nerve, which causes tongue movement. This stimulation is timed with breathing to relieve upper airway obstruction.

“The device works inside the body with the natural breathing process. It delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which allows the airway to remain open during sleep. The device is controlled by a small handheld sleep remote,” said St. Germain, NP-C.

Fitzgerald, PAC, added, “After the device is installed the patient clicks the remote to turn the device on. While they sleep, the device opens the airways, allowing them to breathe normally and sleep peacefully.”

The process to determine if someone is a candidate for the hypoglossal nerve stimulator starts when the patient’s primary care physician refers them for a sleep study to determine if they have OSA. If the patient has moderate to severe OSA, and if they don’t respond well to a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy, they can contact Eric Lentsch, MD, Head and Neck Specialists – Charleston at (843) 574-5693.

Brittney Fitzgerald Kiely St. GermainEric Lentsch

Left to right: Brittney Fitzgerald, Kiely St. Germain, Dr. Eric Lentsch