Lingual Frenotomy

Lingual Frenotomy, or Frenulectomy, is a surgical procedure used to treat tongue tie (ankyloglossia). If significant tongue tie is present and is causing feeding or speech difficulties, your child’s surgeon will discuss frenotomy.

Often referred to as ‘tongue clip’, the procedure involves lifting the tongue toward the roof of the mouth, applying gentle pressure to the tongue frenulum (the tongue tie) then dividing the frenulum. This leads to an immediate release of tethering and an increase in tongue mobility. This procedure can be performed in the office for younger children (typically less than 3 months of age). Procedures for older children are performed in the operating room under anesthesia.

In very rare circumstances, the upper lip also may have a frenulum (lip tie) that is so severe that it limits movement of the lip and can lead to feeding difficulties. Uncommonly, this also will require a procedure similar to the lingual frenotomy to release the ‘lip tie’. The procedure is safe, but there are very small risks of bleeding and injury to the saliva ducts that are situated beneath the tongue. There also is a very small risk of scarring that may require repeat surgery.

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