Robert Lebby, MD, FAASM, FCCP

Adult Sleep Specialist

Pulmonologist

A native Californian, Dr. Lebby received his Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UC San Diego before attending medical school at the University of Irvine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine, followed by fellowships in Pulmonary Disease, Sleep Disorders, and Critical Care – all at UCLA. During his 20+ years of experience treating sleep disorders, he has held directorships at multiple sleep laboratories, contributed to numerous medical journal publications, and conducted a number of talks on sleep apnea. Dr. Lebby is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the California Sleep Society.

BOARD CERTIFICATIONS

American Board of Sleep Medicine 

American Board of Internal Medicine – Formerly

Pulmonary Disease Board Certification – Formerly

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine

University of California, Los Angeles

Sepulveda VA Medical Center

Internal Medicine Residency

University of California, Los Angeles

Olive View Medical Center

General Medicine Internship

Oregon Health & Science University

Medical Degree

University of California, Irvine School of Medicine

BS Biochemistry and Cell Biology

University of California, San Diego

Sussex University, Brighton, England

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS/MEMBERSHIPS

Fellow

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Fellow

American College of Chest Physicians

Member

California Sleep Society

Consultant for Product Development of Oral Devices for Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Snoring

Apnea Sciences Corporation

Former Medical Director

Alliance Sleep Laboratory, Riverside

Former Medical Director

Apnea Solutions Sleep Laboratory, Placentia/Yorba Linda

Former Medical Director

Olympic Sleep Laboratory, Los Angeles

Former Sleep Laboratory Director & Non-Invasive Ventilation Program Director

Barlow Pulmonary Hospital, Los Angeles

Former Chairman

Barlow Respiratory Hospital, Los Angeles:

Infection Control

Institutional Review Board

Credentials Committee

Open Records Review Committee

Forms Committee

Former Associate Director

Barlow Respiratory Hospital, Los Angeles:

Ambulatory Care Services

Pulmonary Physiology Laboratory

Rehabilitation Services

Respiratory Care Services

PUBLISHED RESEARCH

Farzaneh F, Feon S, Lebby RA, Brill D, David JC, Shall S. DNA repair in human promyelocytic cell line, HL-60. Nucleic Acids Research. 1987;15(8):3503-3513. doi:10.1093/nar/15.8.3503

Chao DC, Scheinhorn DJ, Van Sloten ES, Ho CK, Lebby RA. Effect of inflation of the tracheostomy balloon cuff on aspiration of supraglottic contents during swallowing. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2003; 167(7):A787

Scheinhorn DJ, Chao DC, Hassenpflug MS, Ho CK, Nelson DR, Lebby RA. Post-ICU mechanical ventilation: compliance with a therapist-implemented patient-specific (TIPS) weaning protocol. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1999; 159:A373

Scheinhorn DJ, Chao DC, Hassenpflug MS, Ho CK, Nelson DR, Lebby RA. Post-ICU mechanical ventilation: results of a therapist-implemented patient-specific (TIPS) weaning protocol. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1999; 159:A373

Dr. Lebby grew up in Southern California living a healthy outdoor lifestyle.  He attended UC San Diego and Sussex University in Brighton, England for undergraduate studies, earning his degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.  He then attended UC Irvine for medical school where he earned his medical degree.  Internship in Internal Medicine followed at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.  From there, he returned home to UCLA and Olive View Medical Center where he finished his residency in Internal Medicine.  He worked Los Angeles emergency rooms for a year before getting married and finally returning to the UCLA programs in 1993 to begin fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.  

 

During his training, Dr. Lebby developed a keen interest in control of breathing and pulmonary mechanics, which ultimately led to his interest in the respiratory changes which occur during sleep.  He had the good fortune of exposure to several early patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS).  At that time that there was poor understanding of these diseases and patients had few available options for treatment.  Luckily he was taken under the wing of some early pioneers in the new field of Sleep Medicine who happened to work throughout the UCLA programs.

 

Sleep Medicine as a sub-specialty was in its infancy in the early 1990’s and formal sleep training programs were rare.  Doctor Lebby pieced together a Sleep Medicine Fellowship under the auspices of his sleep mentors, including Pulmonologists, Neurologists, and basic science researchers.  Ultimately he qualified to sit the boards under the auspices of the American Sleep Disorders Association.  He graduated from UCLA Fellowship training in 1996 with Boards in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases.  The next year he passed the Sleep Medicine Boards, becoming a Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine in 1997.  This distinguished himself as one of the first 1000 dedicated Sleep Medicine Physicians in the entire United States.  He later was appointed a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.

 

Dr. Lebby spent the next decade as a partner in Barlow Pulmonary Medical Group, a 3 physician team caring for patients at the renowned Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles.  This specialty center dedicated its focus to chronically critically ill patients, usually with multi-organ failure, including respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation.  Patients were generally transferred to Barlow from outside hospital ICU’s after failing to improve despite prolonged efforts at treatment.  His group was responsible for all pulmonary care at the hospital and helped developed weaning protocols for weaning patients off of long term mechanical ventilation.  The center specialized in all types of chronic lung disease and also had an active Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.  Doctor Lebby was appointed the Director of the Hospitals very first Sleep Program.  He also spearheaded a Non-Invasive Ventilation Program using positive airway pressure devices for the respiratory treatment of patients with chronic respiratory failure, including patients with severe lung diseases such as COPD, and Neuromuscular Diseases such as ALS.

 

In 2006 Dr. Lebby changed gears and began focusing his attention solely on sleep disorders.  He moved to Orange County and began working with several Sleep Laboratories in the Southern California area.  At that time sleep patients still had very few options and had difficulty finding physicians with specialty in Sleep Medicine.  Over the years thankfully this has evolved and now patients can often find a caregiver with at least some degree of training is sleep.  

 

Dr. Lebby maintains an active practice evaluating and counseling patients with all types of sleep disorders.  Currently most patients referred to sleep specialists have complaints referable to snoring and OSA.  He interprets laboratory sleep studies for several sleep laboratories, including diagnostic nocturnal polysomnography, positive airway pressure (PAP) titration studies, and Multiple Sleep Latency Tests.   

    

Dr. Lebby has also developed a strong interest in the use of oral devices for the treatment of OSA and snoring.  Many patients cannot tolerate PAP devices and many have been left to struggle without any treatment.  He has had a long time collaboration with the very successful oral appliance company Apnea Sciences Corporation which manufactures several oral devices highly effective in the treatment of OSA and snoring.  Dr. Lebby joined Ocean Medicine in 2018 as the adult sleep specialist, and believes that with thorough evaluation, patient education, and counseling, patients and doctors together can make the best decisions regarding their treatment options for OSA and snoring.