Hyoid Suspension

Hyoid Suspension for Sleep Apnea

What is hyoid suspension?

Hyoid suspension is an inpatient sleep apnea surgery that pulls the base of the tongue and other soft tissues around the throat forward by anchoring the neck’s hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage (the “Adam’s apple”). The hyoid suspension surgery expands and stabilizes the airway, making it less likely that the tongue will collapse into the airway and obstruct breathing during sleep—known as sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is often done in conjunction with other procedures such as genioglossus advancement or maxillomandibular advancement surgery to treat more severe cases of sleep apnea. The hyoid suspension procedure is performed in a hospital operating room under general anesthesia.

Why is hyoid suspension performed?

Hyoid suspension is performed by ear, nose, and throat experts at Sinus Center LA to treat the following conditions:

  • Enlarged tongue
  • Limp tongue muscles
  • Snoring
  • obstructive sleep apnea caused by an enlarged tongue or weak tongue muscles

What does hyoid suspension involve?

Before surgery, a patient is given general anesthesia to ensure comfort during the procedure. Then, a board-certified Sinus Center LA doctor will make a small horizontal incision in the upper neck, typically in a convenient skin crease to minimize the appearance of a scar.

Once the hyoid bone is exposed, several tendons on its upper surface and some of the muscles on its lower surface are carefully detached. Next the doctor will advance the hyoid bone and secure it in position above the thyroid cartilage, stitching everything in place.

After, the skin incision will also be stitched up. A small drain is commonly placed at the incision site in order to allow fluid to drain in the days that immediately follow the surgery. The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour to perform.

What are the benefits of undergoing hyoid suspension?

Entrusting Sinus Center LA ear, nose, and throat doctors with your hyoid suspension surgery can result in the following benefits:

  • Continued relief from airway obstruction
  • Permanently enlarged breathing passage that increases airflow
  • Short recovery time (1-2 days in hospital)
  • Reduces snoring
  • Lessens sleep apnea symptoms

If you are suffering from sleep apnea and believe you may benefit from hyoid suspension, the first step is to consult with a sleep health expert. Ear, nose, and throat specialists at Sinus Center LA in Pacific Palisades are experienced in treating sleep apnea with hyoid suspension. Fill out this form to schedule an appointment or to learn more about Sinus Center LA’s treatment options.