A tongue or lip tie surgery, also known as a frenectomy is done to untether or release the piece of tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth or the lip to the gums.
We currently perform this procedure on infants. Your baby is swaddled in a dental chair and laser safety goggles are placed to protect their eyes. During the surgery, the area is numbed with a topical anesthetic and the tissue removed by a laser. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes. We use a laser to minimize bleeding and pain.
After the surgery, there is typically a diamond shaped wound that closes quickly in infants. The parents need to do exercises to delay this wound healing so that the tissues don’t reattach. These exercises must be done often, about 6 times a day to ensure it heals well. We will show you how exercises are done. This part is critical to the success of the procedure. The surgery simply allows the tongue or lip a greater range of motion but to better achieve the goals set in place, exercises must be done.
For infants, a partnership with a lactation consultant is also critical to successful treatment outcomes. It is best to see your lactation consultant within 24 hours of the procedure. After the procedure, the baby may not be able to nurse right away, as they are numb and can’t feel their lips. After 45-60min, when the topical anesthetic wears off, mom can try nursing. The first few times are frustrating because the baby isn’t used to its new, longer body parts. It’ll take some time for mom and baby to learn to breastfeed again. It is also beneficial to have bodywork done by a cranial sacral therapist or chiropractor. The child has spent 9 months plus their age with these tissues. Now it feels different, and the body needs to be “un-kincked” to allow it to function well. This seemingly small tissue can have a grand impact on the body and the right approach to correcting it is very important.
After the procedure, we like to see the baby back in 1 week and then in another 2 weeks after that. We take pictures with our digital camera and ask questions to ensure that the procedure did what it was meant to do. If we need to redo the procedure, it is done free of charge to ensure desired results. Typically, mom and babies respond very well to the procedure. We hope to help you and your baby grow in a holistic way.
Read about post-procedure care instructions