Hyoid Suspension Surgery for OSA in Foley & Daphne, AL


What is hyoid suspension?

Hyoid suspension surgery, also known as hyoid advancement surgery, is a treatment at ENT Centers of Excellence in Foley & Daphne, AL for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic snoring. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck that has attachments to muscles of the tongue as well as other muscles and soft tissues around the throat. The hyoid bone is free to move around rather than firmly anchored in position, and this mobility may cause this area to collapse and cause airway blockage during sleep. With a hyoid bone suspension procedure, this mobility is eliminated.

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Why is hyoid bone suspension performed?

A hyoid suspension surgery may be performed on patients suffering from OSA and snoring, as well as the conditions that cause or aggravate these symptoms. The procedure secures the hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage and helps to stabilize this region of the airway.

Hyoid bone suspension may be recommended for patients with:

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

What does the hyoid suspension procedure involve?

Hyoid bone suspension surgery 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 surgery expands and stabilizes the airway, making it less likely that the tongue will collapse into the airway and obstruct breathing during sleep. It is often done in conjunction with other procedures such as tongue advancement or maxillomandibular advancement surgery to treat more severe cases of sleep apnea. The procedure is performed in a hospital operating room under general anesthesia.

What are the advantages of hyoid suspension surgery?

Hyoid bone suspension offers a number of advantages, including:

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

What does the recovery from hyoid suspension surgery involve?

Since hyoid bone suspension is a minimally invasive surgery, most patients are able to leave the hospital within 1-2 days. Some guidelines to follow during the recovery period:

  • Elevate your head by 45 degrees while sleeping for at least the first 3 days
  • Control post-surgery pain using pain medications
  • Be careful while eating and drinking – you may need to follow a liquid-only diet for the first few days after hyoid suspension surgery
  • Take antibiotics as directed
  • Avoid strenuous activity, but make sure to walk and spend time out of bed to reduce the risk of complications
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment with our ENT doctors

Dr. Keith Kowal, a highly experienced ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist in Foley & Daphne, Alabama is an expert in enhanced treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, including the hyoid bone suspension surgery. If you have OSA symptoms or chronic snoring and want to do something about it, you can trust Dr. Kowal and his 30 years of experience. His goal is to help his patients breathe better and sleep better to live better! A consultation with Dr. Kowal is the first step to a good night’s sleep and a healthier lifestyle for you and your bed partner. To find out whether you’re a candidate for hyoid suspension, call 251.943.1117 today to schedule an appointment or simply fill out the form on this page.

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