Hyoid Suspension

Last Updated: June 30, 2018

Definition - What does Hyoid Suspension mean?

Hyoid suspension is a procedure in which the hyoid bone of the throat is repositioned to open and provide structural support to a person's airway. The procedure is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The hyoid bone is located in the neck at the base of the tongue. During a hyoid suspension, the bone is moved to the top of the trachea at the thyroid or Adam's apple.

Repositioning the hyoid bone allows the base of the tongue to advance, creating a wider airway. Some studies indicate that when used alone, the procedure may have limited success. Because of this, hyoid surgery is often combined with other procedures intended to open the sleep apena sufferer's airway and prevent nighttime obstructions.

Hyoid suspension is also called hyoid myotomy suspension (HMS) or hyoid advancement.

WorkplaceTesting explains Hyoid Suspension

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a person's airway becomes blocked during sleep. This blockage may be caused by the positioning of the tongue or structural collapse of the airway. A common treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine. A PAP machine maintains a steady flow of positive air through a person's airways to prevent the walls from collapsing while he or she sleeps. Hyoid suspension and other surgical procedures may be used as an alternative or complement to PAP therapy.

The theory of hyoid suspension is that moving the hyoid bone to a different location and using it to help support the airways structure will create a wider airway. This wider airway is then less susceptible to full obstruction. Hyoid suspension is a relatively non-invasive procedure. Individual surgeons may choose from among several different methods and ultimate placements of the hyoid bone when performing a hyoid suspension.

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