Frenuloplasty

Frenuloplasty

Frenuloplasty refers to a surgical procedure used to correct a condition commonly known as tongue-tie. By having your child undergo the intervention with the ENT for Children clinic, you will be sure your son or daughter receives the best of care and attention. We make it our duty to render this experience as comfortable as possible for your child.

What is frenuloplasty?

Frenuloplasty is a surgical procedure performed to release the lingual frenulum from the floor of the mouth. The surgery constitutes the best know treatment for children with shortened frenulum. The intervention is mandatory when the frenulum tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. Not only does the presence of this abnormally (short and thick frenulum) prevent the child from sticking his/her tongue out, but it also affects the way the child eats, speaks and swallows. In some cases, it can even interfere with breastfeeding.

What does frenuloplasty entail?

The surgery to correct the tongue-tie condition is usually simple and can even be performed in the doctor’s office, in some cases. Regardless of where the surgery takes place, the otolaryngologist will apply anesthetic. For children younger than 3 months, the procedure may be done awake in the physician’s office. For older children, the otolaryngologist will recommend general anesthesia.

The intervention implies lifting the infant’s tongue and clipping the lingual frenulum. Take note that more than one cut may be necessary if the tissue is fairly thick. Once the band of tissue under the tongue is released, an improved mobility of the tongue can be noticed immediately. The frenuloplaty takes approximately 5-7 minutes and requires a few self-absorbing stiches to prevent recurrence.

Why should tongue-tie be operated?

For infants who aren’t able to receive breast-milk due to inadequate mobility of the tongue, the child will receive inadequate nutrition, an element that will affect his physical and mental development in the long run. Left untreated, tongue-tie can lead to all sorts of conditions associated with oral hygiene, including tooth decay and gingivitis. In addition, it can affect the speech development and the ability of a child to pronounce certain sounds.  On rare occasions, it can enhance sleep disordered breathing in a child.

What are the risks associated with the procedure?

It is important to note that the procedure is safe, quick and presents extremely few risks, especially since the tissue being clipped incorporates a limited number of nerve endings and blood vessels. If bleeding occurs, it won’t be more than a drop or two. Following the procedure, the baby can begin breastfeeding immediately.

On very rare occasions, frenuloplasty presents some complications like:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection at the site
  • Damage to the tongue
  • Damage to the salivary glands
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia – very rare
  • The reattachment of the frenulum to the base of the mouth – recurrence

In the event when you suspect your infant has tongue-tie, do not hesitate to contact us right away. Our skilled and experienced otolaryngologist, Dr. Samadi, will explain the procedure in detail and present you with all the risks and advantages of frenuloplasty.