Jefferson Health

Tongue Base Advancement with Hyoid Myotomy

The back of the tongue can be a component of sleep apnea by itself or in conjunction with other areas of obstruction. It can also be a source of snoring. To try and correct the site of obstruction in the upper airway, a tongue base advancement with hyoid myotomy can be performed.

Sleep medicine specialists and otolaryngologists at Jefferson will coordinate your care through evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Our team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons are also experienced in performing this procedure.

What Does Tongue Base Advancement with Hyoid Myotomy Involve?

During a tongue base advancement with hyoid myotomy, an incision is made under the chin and a device is used that places three screws into the undersurface of the jawbone. Each screw has a heavy suture affixed to it. Two of these sutures are passed around the hyoid bone (the bone that makes up the top part of the voice box) to pull it upward and forward.

Because the tongue is attached to this bone, the sutures can advance or at least stabilize the back of the tongue to prevent collapse. The final suture is passed behind the back of the tongue to prevent the tongue from falling backward during sleep.