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Frenotomy - Release Of Tongue Tie

Frenotomy (also known as frenectomy, frenuloplasty, frenulotomy,  frenulectomy, or ankyloglossia release) is a fairly easy procedure.

Ankyloglossia prevents the tongue from protruding outside of the mouth

It may get more complicated in cases of posterior tongue tie, when the frenulum attaches either to the middle or to the very base of the tongue. The frenulum is usually tight and inflexible, which can lead to swallowing problems and feeding difficulty. Read more about different types of tongue tie and how to diagnose here.

Frenotomy is done through a procedure of snipping the frenulum with special blunt-ended scissors. It takes a couple of minutes to perform and depending on the age of the person and the position of the frenulum may heal differently.

It is recommended to get this procedure done during the first months of child's life, when there are hardly any blood vessels or nerves in the frenulum.

The more developed the frenulum, the higher the chances that a local anesthesia will be needed. The procedure is performed in your pediatrician's, dentist's or otolaryngologist’s office.

We took our son in for frenotomy when he was 4 days old.  The procedure was done at the otolaryngologist’s office. No anesthesia required.

I was holding my son horizontally on my lap facing the doctor. My son cried, but it was because he was held still in a restricted position. He stopped crying right after the snip, when I got him up and held normally. No blood either. And I breastfed my little boy right there outside of the doctor’s office. The latch was perfect and we both were happy as never before!

If your baby’s latch doesn’t improve after the procedure, let the doctor examine your baby once again a couple of days later. There is a chance that the snip was not deep enough.

I also haven’t found any scientifically-proven material pertaining to the benefits of leaving ankyloglossia untreated.

However, I know some pediatricians do recommend to let it be. There are indeed some scattered stories about frenulum stretching and correcting itself. But it doesn’t happen in the first year of child’s life, not even in the second or third – so critical for proper speech development.

Frenotomy is a very minor procedure. It is not even called a surgery. You and your baby will be done in no time and breastfeeding as never before. Besides troubled nursing, uncorrected tongue tie:

  • interferes with bottle-feeding. Bottle-feeding calls for a different sucking pattern than breastfeeding, but the tongue still plays an essential role in the process. Don’t be thinking that you can save your baby from a medical procedure by switching him/her to the bottle. Besides, breastfeeding benefits are plentiful.
  • may cause speech problems. In fact, it may or may not affect your child’s speech, but you don’t want to take chances.
  • may also affect teeth structure, arrangement and spacing.
  • may also cause trouble with every regular activity that involves tongue movement, like eating, swallowing or self-examining the teeth and palate.

We were lucky that our pediatrician was supportive of the snip procedure. She understood that I didn’t need another breastfeeding problem added to the list we already had. Read our story here

In my opinion, there are no adverse effects of frenotomy or arguments against the snip procedure. If your baby’s pediatrician is skeptical about it, do your research, talk to a lactation specialist, and do what you think is best for your baby. We did what we thought was best for ours and we have no regrets about it.

After frenotomy

There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.



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