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The AirLift Procedure

The AIRLIFT Procedure 

AIRLIFT's approach to hyoid suspension has been redesigned from the ground up for ease-of-use and patient comfort. It’s less invasive than complex and traumatic surgeries such as genioglossus advancement or hypoglossal nerve stimulation. AIRLIFT compares favorably with other treatments in effectiveness – at a fraction of the cost. AIRLIFT is durable, adjustable, reversible and removable. AIRLIFT has broad US insurance coverage.



The AIRLIFT procedure utilizes the Encore™ System and the Revolution Suture Passer, an integrated set of instruments and implants specifically designed for hyoid suspension.


Features & Benefits

  • Minimally invasive, well-tolerated

  • Ease-of-use and superior procedure control

  • Easily adjusted, re-adjusted, removed and reversed, if required

  • Effective, lasting, and durable


The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) considers hyoid suspension and tongue suspension effective treatments for sleep apnea »


AIRLIFT hyoid suspension procedure typically takes 30 minutes, and is performed by an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist (also known as Otolaryngologists), an oral surgeon, or other surgical specialist.



Encore System

suture passer for tongue suspension

The Encore System, along with the Revolution™ Suture Passer, includes all instruments and implants needed to perform the AIRLIFT procedure for hyoid suspension, tongue suspension, or both procedures in a multi-level approach.

video: The AIRLIFT procedure

Effectiveness of OSA Treatment

% Change in mean AHI with treatment

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Magnified view of Encore System

suture anchor

Revolution Suture

Passer for hyoid suspension

  1. Stuck B., Effects of continuous positive airway pressure on apnea-hypopnea index in obstructive sleep apnea based on long-term compliance. Sleep and Breathing. 2012 June;16(2):467-71

  2. Strollo PJ Jr, Soose RJ, Maurer JT, et al. Upper-airway stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea. N Engl J Med. 2014 Jan 9;370(2):139-149.

  3. Siesta Medical Whitepaper - Hyoid Suspension to the Mandible is More Effective than to Thyroid Cartilage (LS0034)

  4. Siesta Medical Whitepaper - Tongue Suspension is Highly Effective & Minimally-Invasive (LS0047)  

  5. Van Tassel, Suspension with UPPP for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Ear, Nose & Throat Journal. 2021 Mar; 1-8                                                                                                                                           

AIRLIFT Procedure for Hyoid Suspension

The Encore™ System and Revolution™ Suture Passer are used to perform the AIRLIFT hyoid suspension procedure. The purpose of the procedure is to anteriorly reposition the hyoid bone in order to stabilize the airway. The Revolution Suture Passer is used to easily pass suspension lines around the hyoid bone, while the Encore System suture anchor is used to anchor the suspension lines to the mandible. The suspension lines are then tensioned to advance the tongue base and epiglottis, and stabilize the lateral walls at and below the tongue base. The AIRLIFT hyoid suspension procedure is adjustable and reversible.

AIRLIFT provides key benefits in the performance of hyoid suspension to the mandible: 


  • Precise & adjustable control over hyoid bone advancement

  • Stability & durability of a knotless straight-line connections between suture anchors and the hyoid bone

  • Specifically designed from the ground up for ease-of-use



Obstructed airway before AIRLIFT  procedure.

Suspension loops placed to advance hyoid bone to restore the airway.

Open airway after AIRLIFT procedure.

Hyoid Suspension
Tongue Suspension

Encore Tongue Suspension

Encore tongue suspension using the Encore System involves placing simple implants in the tongue and lower jaw. The purpose of the procedure is to stabilize the tongue in order to prevent obstruction of the upper airway, thereby improving breathing during sleep.


A suspension line is placed deep into the tongue through a small incision under the chin using Encore’s proprietary suture passer.  A suture anchor is seated onto the lower chin. The suspension line is connected to the suture anchor and is tensioned to stabilize the tongue base, preventing it from falling back and blocking the airway during sleep.


In adults, tongue suspension is usually performed in conjunction with hyoid suspension.  In cases where tongue suspension is performed as a stand alone intervention, more than one suspension line may be placed to improve tongue advancement and stability.

Pediatric Encore Tongue Suspension:  Pediatric otolaryngologist have successfully treated Complex Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) with tongue suspension using the Encore Suspension System.  The following  publication  and video demonstrate the technique for successful treatment with Encore Tongue Suspension.


Mean Reduction in AHI

Encore provides key benefits in the performance of

tongue suspension: 


  • Precise & adjustable control 

  • Stability & durability of #2 braided suspension line

  • Specifically designed from the ground up for ease-of-use

Video: Encore Tongue Suspension


of patients referred for tracheostomy placement avoid the placement

Airway with tongue-based obstruction

Suspension loops placed to advance tongue muscle to restore the airway.

Small incision closed with sutures.

Get Started with AIRLIFT & Encore Today

The AIRLIFT procedure for hyoid suspension and use of the Encore System for tongue suspension are designed to be simple and intuitive. Our representatives are available to provide training and support to ensure that your experience is optimal. For more information, or if you are interested in making AIRLIFT & Encore part of your practice, please contact us at:


Coverage and Reimbursement

Hyoid suspension is reimbursed by CMS and all major private payers. Tongue suspension is reimbursed by CMS and some private payers. 

Provider Support Page: 

Our Provider Support Page has all the information you need to support bringing AIRLIFT hyoid suspension or Encore tongue suspension to your practice.  Please email us at or contact your local representative to get access to this page. 


Product Description                                

Encore™ System for Hyoid & Tongue Suspension                    


Revolution™ Suture Passer             

Encore Revision Kit

Catalog Number








To Order:  or call: +1 408.320.9424


Federal (USA) law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.



Get Started

MRI Safety Information



HYOID SUSPENSION  click on title to read full abstract

  1. Hyoid Suspension with UPPP for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Van Tassel, Ear, Nose & Throat Journal. 2021 Mar; 1-8                                                                                                                                                                    

  2. Hyoid myotomy and suspension without simultaneous palate or tongue base surgery for obstructive sleep apnea. Ong, A. World J Otorhynolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Jun; 3(2): 110-114​                                                                                                        

  3. Adjustable Minimally Invasive Hyoid Myotomy and Suspension with Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Van Tassel, JR. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Sep;151(1) Suppl:131                                                                                                                      

  4. Modified hyoid suspension technique in the treatment of multilevel related obstructive sleep apnea. Piccin O, Scaramuzzino G, Martone C, Marra F, Gobbi R, Sorrenti G. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Feb;150(2):321-4                                                                                               

  5. Multilevel treatment of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea with bone-anchored pharyngeal suspension sutures. Berg EE, Bunge F, Delgaudio JM. Ear Nose Throat J. 2013 Aug;92(8):E1                 

  6. Thirteen Years of Hyoid Suspension Experience in Multilevel OSAHS Surgery: The Short-Term Results of a Bicentric Study.  Canzi P, Berardi A, Tinelli C, Montevecchi F, Pagella F, Vicini C, Benazzo M. Int J Otolaryngol. 2013;2013:263043. doi: 10.1155/2013/263043. Epub 2013 Feb 20.                                                                                                                           

  7. Hyoid advancement to the mandible (hyo-mandibular advancement). Mickelson SA. Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology. 2012;23:56-9                                                                        

  8. Hyoid suspension surgery with UPPP for the treatment of hypopharyngeal airway obstruction in obstructive sleep apnea. Karataylı-Özgürsoy S, Demireller A. Ear Nose Throat J. 2012 Aug;91(8):358-64                                                                                             

  9. Outcomes of hyoid myotomy and suspension using a mandibular screw suspension system. Gillespie MB, Ayers CM, Nguyen SA, Abidin MR. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Feb;144(2):225-9              

  10. Hyoidthyroidpexia as a treatment in multilevel surgery for obstructive sleep apnea. Benazzo M, Pagella F, Matti E, Zorzi S, Campanini A, Frassineti S, Montevecchi F, Tinelli C, Vicini C. Acta Otolaryngol. 2008 Jun;128(6):680-4                                                               

  11. One-phase management of severe obstructive sleep apnea: Tongue base reduction with hyoepiglottoplasty plus uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Sorrenti G, Piccin O, Mondini S, Ceroni AR. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Dec; 135(6), 906-10                      

  12. The effect of hyoid suspension in a multilevel surgery concept for obstructive sleep apnea. Baisch A, Maurer JT, Hormann K. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 May;134(5):856-61                               

  13. Multilevel surgery for obstructive sleep apnea: short-term results. Verse T, Baisch A, Maurer JT, Stuck BA, Hormann K. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Apr;134(4):571-7                                                                  

  14. Outcomes of hyoid suspension for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Bowden MT, Kezirian EJ, Utley D, Goode RL. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 May;131(5):440-5                                 

  15. Hyoidthyroidpexia: a surgical treatment for sleep apnea syndrome. den Herder C, van Tinteren H, de Vries N. Laryngoscope. 2005 Apr;115(4):740-5                                                                                              

  16. Tongue base reduction with hyoepiglottoplasty for the treatment of severe OSA. Sorrenti G, Piccin O, Scaramuzzino G, Mondini S, Cirignotta F, Ceroni AR.Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2004 Aug;24(4):  204-10.                                                                                                             

  17. Hyoid myotomy with suspension under local anesthesia for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Neruntarat C. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 May;260(5):286-90                                                   

  18. Hyoid suspension for obstructive sleep apnea. Krespi Y, Kacker A. Oper Tech in Otol-Head and Neck Surg. 2002;13(2):144-9                                                                                                        

  19. Usefulness of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty with genioglossus and hyoid advancement in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Vilaseca I, Morelló A, Montserrat JM, Santamaría J, Iranzo A. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 Apr;128(4):435-40                                

TONGUE SUSPENSION  click on title to read full abstract

  1. Fluoroscopic-Assisted Tongue Suspension: Advancement and Innovation in the Management of Complex Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Taher Valika.  Laryngoscope. 2023 Oct 12.                                                                              

  2. Pediatric Tongue Base Suspension with Fluoroscopic Guidance. Taher Valika, MD; Matthew Maksimoski, MD; Sarah Maurrasse, MD. Laryngoscope, 00:1-3, 2021                                                                                  

  3. Paradigm Shift in Airway Management for Pierre Roubin Sequence, Tongue Base SuspensionSafri, Shabbir DO; Wickemeyer, Johanna L. MD; Valika, Taher S. MD. The Journal of Craniofacial Surg. 2020                                                                                  

  4. The impact of modified tongue base suspension on CPAP levels in patients with severe OSA. Turhan M, Bostanci A, Akdag M. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Apr;272(4):995-1000.                                                                                                                                 

  5. Tongue Suspension: An evidence-based review and comparison to hypo pharyngeal surgery for OSA. Handler E, Hamans E, Goldberg A, Mickelson S. Laryngoscope. 2014 Jan;124(1):329-36                                       

  6. Transsubmental tongue base suspension in treating patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea after failed uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Huang TW, Su HW, Wang CT, Cheng PW. Clin Otolaryngol. 2014 Feb 26. doi: 10.1111/coa.12230.                                 

  7. Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome caused by glossoptosis with tongue-base suspension. Li S, Wu D, Shi H. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Nov; 270(11):2915-20.                                          

  8. A comparison of unilevel and multilevel surgery in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Tuncel U, Inanclı HM, Kürkçüoğlu SS, Enoz M. ENT Journal. 2012 Aug; 91(8):E13-8.                                                                             

  9. Modified tongue base suspension for multilevel or single level obstructions in sleep apnea: Clinical and radiologic results. Sezen OS, Aydin E, Eraslan G, Haytoglu S, Coskuner T, Unver S. Auris Nasus Larynx 38 (2011) 487–494.                                                                                       

  10. Modified tongue base suspension for multilevel or single level obstructions in sleep apnea: Clinical and radiologic results.  Sezen OS, Aydin E, Eraslan G, Haytoglu S, Coskuner T, Unver S. Auris Nasus Larynx 38 (2011) 487–494.                                                                                   

  11. A study of the new generation of the advance system tongue implants: three- and six-month effects of tongue to mandible tethering for obstructive sleep apnea. Pavelec V, Hamans E, Stuck BA. Laryngoscope. 2011 Nov;121(11):2487-93. doi: 10.1002/lary.22173. Epub 2011 Oct 12.                                                                                                          

  12. Multicenter study of a novel adjustable tongue-advancement device for obstructive sleep apnea. Woodson BT, Steward DL, Mickelson S, Huntley T, Goldberg A. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Oct;143(4):585-90.                                                                                                      

  13. Tongue base suspension and radiofrequency volume reduction: a comparison between 2 techniques for the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing. Fibbi A, Ameli F, Brocchetti F, Mignosi S, Cabano ME, Semino L. Am J Otolaryngol. 2009; 30(6):401-406.                         

  14. Randomized study comparing two tongue base surgeries for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.  Fernández-Julián E, Muñoz N, Achiques MT, García-Pérez MA, Orts M, Marco J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009; 140(6):917-23.                                           

  15. Adjustable tongue advancement for obstructive sleep apnea: a pilot study.  Hamans E, Boudewyns A, Stuck BA, Baisch A, Willemen M, Verbraecken J, Van de Heyning P. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2008 Nov;117(11):815-23                                                                                               

  16. Tongue-base suspension in conjunction with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for treatment of severe obstructive sleep apnea: long-term follow-up results.  Vicente E, Marin JM, Carrizo S, Naya MJ. Laryngoscope 2006; 116:1223–1227.                                 

  17. Morphological changes of the posterior airway space after tongue base suspension. Kühnel TS, Schurr C, Wagner B, Geisler P. Laryngoscope. 2005; 115(3):475-80.                                                                      

  18. Tongue base suspension combined with UPPP in severe OSA patients. Omur M, Ozturan D, Elez F, Unver C, Derman S. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005; 133:218–223.                                                                   

  19. Preliminary findings from a prospective, randomized trial of two tongue-base surgeries for sleep-disordered breathing.  Thomas AJ, Chavoya M, Terris DJ. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003; 129:539–546.         

  20. Tongue base suspension technique in obstructive sleep apnea: personal experience.  Sorrenti G, Piccin O, Latini G, Scaramuzzino G, Mondini S, Rinaldi Ceroni A. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2003; 23(4):274-80.                                                                                                                           

  21. Role of the tongue base suspension suture with The Repose System bone screw in the multilevel surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea.  Miller FR, Watson D, Malis D. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002; 126(4):392-8.                                                                                     

  22. Minimally invasive tongue base surgery for obstructive sleep apnoea.  Terris DJ, Kunda LD, Gonella MC. J Laryngol Otol 2002; 116:716–721.                                                                                                       

  23. Tongue-base suspension with a soft tissue-to-bone anchor for obstructive sleep apnea: preliminary clinical results of a new minimally invasive technique. DeRowe A, Gunther E, Fibbi A, Lehtimaki K, Vahatalo K, Maurer J, Ophir D. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000; 122(1):100-3.                                                                                          

  24. Pharyngeal suspension suture with repose bone screw for obstructive sleep apnea. Woodson BT, Derowe A, Hawke M, Wenig B, Ross EB Jr, Katsantonis GP, Mickelson SA, Bonham RE, Benbadis S. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000; 122(3):395-401.                                           

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