Sleep Surgery

Taking Care of You: Sleep Surgery

The Vanderbilt Sleep Surgery team has extensive training and experience in the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders and sleep-disordered breathing. We treat any sleep disorder that can interfere with quality sleep and daytime functioning. We have medical and surgical treatment options for sleep apnea and snoring, both of which can cause unhealthy disruptions in sleep patterns.

Patient Care Excellence

Some complex conditions require additional expertise and skill, so our team works closely with colleagues in Sleep Medicine, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery and Bariatric Surgery to compose the best treatment plan for each individual. Patients receive personalized, multi-disciplinary care for all of their sleep-related issues.

Medical Treatments

  • Lifestyle changes

  • Positional therapy

  • Positive Airway Pressure

  • Oral Appliance Therapy


Surgical Treatments


Innovations, Awards, and Technology

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the first hospital in Middle Tennessee where upper airway stimulation therapy was made available as a treatment option for people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea unable to benefit from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). During sleep, gentle stimulation of key pharyngeal muscles keeps the airway open without the need for any additional mask or machine. 

Dr. Kent serves on multiple committees within the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that affect the worldwide practice of sleep medicine. The Kent Lab, directed by David Kent, MD, focuses on the neurophysiology of the upper airway, especially mechanisms for control of breathing in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dr. Kent has recently been awarded more than $4 million from the NIH to study the physiologic effects of ansa cervicalis stimulation (ACS), a novel neurostimulation therapy for sleep apnea first described at VUMC."


To refer a patient to the Vanderbilt Sleep Surgery team, please call (615) 322-6180.

Selected Publications

Vanderbilt publications

Many Options Available to Treat Wide Range of Sleep Disorders (VUMC Reporter January 12, 2017)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which people experience repetitive obstructions of their breathing multiple times per night. It is a common condition, and has been associated with many health problems including daytime tiredness, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke, said David Kent, M.D., assistant professor of Otolaryngology. To continue reading...

New Nerve Stimulation Treatment Helps Ease Sleep Apnea (VUMC Reporter January 18, 2018)

Jessica Wilson struggled for a year with the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask that she used to treat her obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Despite her best intentions, wearing the mask that delivers oxygen and prevents airway obstruction didn’t work for her.  To continue reading...

Scientific, peer-reviewed articles

(bolded names held primary faculty appointments in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the time of publication)