Hyoid suspension is a treatment procedure intended for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in a person’s neck located above the level of the thyroid, which has attachments to the muscles of the tongue and also other muscles and soft tissues in the throat region. The hyoid bone can move around freely rather than being fixed in a certain position. This mobility could cause the airways to collapse and allow a person to sleep more easily. The procedure helps stabilize the upper region of the airways.
The procedure is usually done in an operating room with the use of general anesthesia. A small incision is usually created in a neck skin crease that camouflages the scar. The incision is usually about 3 inches wide. The procedure is usually done by placing four stitches around the hyoid bone, and the upper portion of the cartilage stabilizes the hyoid bone.
There is also a risk of bleeding like any other procedure. A drain is placed to allow bleeding to escape from the wound. Usually, the drainage of the wound is minor. A huge factor in stopping the bleeding is to avoid using aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), vitamin supplements, or herbal medications within two weeks before and after the surgery.
Infection is usually rare but could happen if there is drainage or bleeding that accumulates within the wound. Patients also have a drain placed and receive antibiotics during the time of the surgery, which reduces the chance of infection. The tongue part of the throat is very useful in swallowing, which happens after a tongue procedure and could happen after surgery. It is caused by many factors including swelling of the region.