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Hyoid Suspension Surgery & Sleep Apnea


What Is Hyoid Suspension?

The hyoid bone is a small bone located in the neck and anchored to the thyroid cartilage known as your Adam’s apple. A hyoid suspension surgery may be performed on patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring in order to secure the hyoid bone forward and help stabilize the airway. As a result, it will be less likely that the tongue will collapse into the airway and obstruct breathing during sleep. The procedure may be recommended for patients with:

  • A larger than normal tongue
  • Weak tongue muscles
  • Snoring and/or sleep apnea caused by an enlarged tongue or weak tongue muscles

Hyoid suspension is often done in conjunction with other procedures including genioglossus advancement in order to treat more severe cases of sleep apnea.

What does the hyoid suspension procedure involve?

The hyoid procedure is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia to maximize the patient’s comfort. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision, usually in the natural neck skin crease in order to camouflage the scar. The hyoid bone is stabilized anteriorly using two stitches, and then the skin incision is closed. Since hyoid suspension is a minimally invasive surgery, most patients are able to go home within twenty-four hours. Following the procedure, our team will provide detailed instructions on post-surgical care and follow-up.

Will hyoid suspension cure my sleep apnea?

Although not always a cure unto itself, hyoid suspension is known to provide important benefits related to sleep apnea including:

  • A permanently enlarged breathing passage that increases airflow
  • Continued relief from airway obstruction
  • Significant and long-term improvement of snoring
  • Significant and long-term improvement of sleep apnea symptoms

While hyoid suspension is an effective procedure on its own, it is commonly done at the same time with genioglossus advancement and uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), which significantly increases the chances of successfully treating sleep apnea. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (ASAA), “Success from this procedure has been outstanding and is becoming a valuable tool in the surgeon’s armamentarium.”

Why choose NYC SleepWell for hyoid suspension?

Led by Dr. Ruben Cohen, a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, our skilled team of sleep specialists, ENT surgeons, dentists and anaesthesiologists have extensive experience in hyoid suspension — in addition to other surgical treatments for a wide array of conditions related to sleep apnea. For your added peace-of-mind, our facility is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Gold Standard in Accreditation. Our goal at NYC SleepWell, plain and simple, is to help you sleep well – and be healthy!


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