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Hyoid Suspension Surgery for Sleep Apnea

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What is hyoid suspension?

Hyoid suspension surgery is similar to genioglossus advancement, where a patient’s tongue muscle is pulled forward to prevent airway obstruction. Similarly, hyoid suspension pulls the base of the tongue as well as other soft tissues that surround the throat forward. To secure the tongue muscles in the new position, the hyoid bone, located in the neck, is anchored to the thyroid cartilage known as the Adam’s apple. This procedure can be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring.

Why is hyoid suspension performed?

Hyoid suspension surgery is performed at New York ENT in order to treat:

  • Weak or limp tongue muscles
  • Snoring
  • Oversized tongue
  • OSA that is caused by limp tongue muscles or an oversized tongue

What does hyoid suspension involve?

Hyoid suspension is performed by a trained ENT specialist, who will first give the patient general anesthesia to ease discomfort during the procedure.

During the procedure, the doctor will make a small incision in the upper neck, exposing the hyoid bone. Then, the muscles attaching the hyoid muscle are carefully detached and the hyoid bone is pulled forward and secured in the new position.

After the procedure, the doctor will use stitches to close the incision, and usually a small drain will be put in the incision site to allow proper drainage. In general, hyoid suspension takes less than one hour to perform and patients usually remain in the hospital for a couple days for monitoring.

What are the advantages of hyoid suspension?

Patients who undergo hyoid suspension for obstructive sleep apnea may experience the following benefits:

  • Long-term airway obstruction relief
  • Increased airflow, making breathing easier
  • Improved snoring and OSA symptoms
  • Short recovery time

If you are suffering from OSA or snoring and believe you may benefit from hyoid suspension, the first step is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience treating a variety of sleep disorders and breathing conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.

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