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Rady Children's Specialists

Complex Sleep Apnea Program

The Complex Sleep Apnea Pro485913979gram cares for children with complex health issues who have difficulties with breathing during sleep, despite traditional management for obstructive sleep apnea.

To help these children, the program uses the latest diagnostic tools and therapies, along with a coordinated care approach by sleep specialists from Respiratory Medicine (sleep medicine), Otolaryngology (sleep surgery) and Plastic Surgery (craniofacial surgery), while also including the fields of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

Daniel Lesser, M.D., (Respiratory Medicine) Rakesh Bhattacharjee, M.D., (Respiratory Medicine/Sleep Medicine) Javan Nation, M.D., (Otolaryngology) and Samuel Lance, M.D., (Plastic Craniofacial Surgery) collaborate to create a management plan that considers the unique features of each child’s sleep disorder. Drs. Lesser and Bhattacharjee assess the child’s sleep study, evaluate candidacy for positive airway pressure therapy and identify the need to further evaluate the child or treat associated illnesses.

Dr. Nation provides expertise in anatomic assessment of the upper airway soft tissue using in-office laryngoscopy, as well as sleep endoscopy and use of cine-airway MRI. Dr Lance assesses the upper airway through the evaluation of the mid-face, mandibular and oral cavity bony structure. Both Drs. Nation and Lance have special expertise in cutting-edge surgical procedures that improve sleep-related breathing disorders, which have been successfully performed on patients in our program.

Drs. Jacy Stauffer (Pediatric Dentistry) and George Abichaker (Orthodontics) will screen the dental arch forms to evaluate if there are any dental-related issues that are contributing to the child’s obstructive sleep apnea. They can offer interceptive treatments that include special dental appliances to help improve the airway. By working together as a team, the dentists and physicians can collaborate to determine the best medical and dental approaches catered specifically to the child’s needs.

Conditions Treated

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Complex sleep apnea
  • Residual obstructive sleep apnea s/p tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
  • Upper airway obstruction
  • Obstructive hypoventilation
  • Sleep-disordered breathing



Daniel Lesser, M.D. (Respiratory Medicine)

Rakesh Bhattacharjee, M.D. (Respiratory Medicine/Sleep Medicine)

Javan Nation, M.D. (Otolaryngology)

Samuel Lance, M.D. (Plastic Craniofacial Surgery)

Jacy Stauffer, D.M.D. (Pediatric Dentistry)

George Abichaker, M.S., DDS (Orthodontics)

Physician Assistant

Anita Lazar PA-C


Carrie Arii, R.N.

Care Coordination and Scheduling

Sylvia Sandoval


*Appointments are by referral only.