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Sleep specialist El-Gendy plans move

By MEL TOADVINE,mtoadvine@breezenewspapers.com

July 1, 2010
Lehigh Acres Citizen

For those who used to bank with Wachovia at the branch on Lee Blvd., just behind Walmart, you're in for a surprise if you report there for a sleep study by Dr. Alaa El-Gendy.

El-Gendy has taken over the site and interior remodeling is being done to construct at least four "bedrooms" for his patients.

And the main entrance to the new Sleep Center will face Lee Blvd.

Article Photos

Dr. Alaa El-Gendy stands in front of wgere gus skeeo dusirder oreactice will be relocated. It;s the site of the former Wachoia Bank on Lee Blvd. Photo by Mel Toadvine

Already the name of the practice is on the building in big letters and motorist along Lee Blvd. are learning that the lung and sleep specialist will soon be moving from his present site in the Sunshine Shopping Plaza, not far from Blockbusters Video.

"We'll be in there by the end of July," El-Gendy said.

El-Gendy has been in business in Lehigh since 2002 and is the first and only independent full-time sleep specialist in Lehigh.

"When you come to our place for an extensive sleep study, you'll be greeted with a smile. We care for our patients and we will do everything in our power to help people with sleep related problems," he said.

The building has has been empty close to a year now since Wachovia closed its branch and moved its operation to a site on Homestead Rd. Since then, Wells Fargo has taken over the bank.

One of the great things in the building is the bank vault and El-Gendy's son-in-law, Amed Fahmy, who does marketing for the medical practice, says all medical records will be kept inside the vault.

Since El-Gendy opened his practice eight years ago, his staff has grown to around 10 professionals, including nurses and office personnel. His son, Ahmed El-Gendy is also in business with his father and has a business administration degree.

El-Gendy's practice is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the highest recognition in the sleep speciality practice.

El-Gendy also provides pulmonary function laboratory and stress testing and is he only sleep specialist in the area with an Arterial blood gas machine which measures oxygen and carbon dioxide one's blood. It is the only such piece of equipment in a doctor's office in Lehigh, El-Gendy said.

He said a lot of people who snore have sleep issues and many may have sleep apnea.

"Some 80 percent of the people here will have some type of sleep disorder in their lifetime," he said. Patients can walk in for care or be referred by other doctors.

"When they come in, we will do an evaluation to see what's going on in their life. We will examine the medications they are on and make some decisions," El-Gendy said.

Often, patients will come to the sleep center to spend the night and be monitored by computerized equipment to help in a diagnosis.

El-Gendy is well-known in the community and well liked. He often runs for honorary mayor, but he says not to win, but to raise money for Lehigh Community Services who he praises for their help in the community.

El-Gendy is the only out-patient pulmonologist and sleep specialist that accepts out-patient Medicaid in lehigh along with the majority of other insurance carriers.

He has had plenty of opportunities to move his practice to Fort Myers, but says he has no plans to do that as Lehigh is his home.

"I want to be here with my business because when I first came here, I was treated well. that means something to me and I plan to stay here," he said.

Patients come to the sleep center from about a hundred-mile radius. There are few such specialty physicians in Lee County.

"And when you come to us, you'll meet a friendly, caring staff and you won't have to sit and wait to be seen,m" he said.

Those with Sleep Apnea are composed of individuals who have such issues as Hypertension, Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, End Stage Renal Disease and Erectile Dysfunction.

The highest rate of people with sleep problems are those with Fibromyalgia and Diabetes, El-Gendy said.

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