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Breaking Down Tongue Tie Surgery: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is shortened, restricting the movement and function of the tongue. This condition can cause difficulty eating and speaking and can be present in infants and children. When tongue tie causes a person problems, it can be fixed with surgery.

In this article, we will be breaking down tongue tie surgery by taking a closer look at what the surgery is, when it is recommended, how it is performed, the recovery process, and potential risks.

What is Tongue Tie Surgery?

Tongue tie surgery, or frenotomy, involves cutting the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth in order to improve tongue mobility. Frenotomy is a short and relatively simple procedure that can be done without general anesthesia.

When is Tongue Tie Surgery Recommended?

Tongue tie surgery may be recommended if the condition is causing significant problems with eating, drinking, swallowing, speaking, or oral health. Some children with tongue tie have difficulty breastfeeding or are not able to breastfeed at all. In these cases, surgery is usually recommended earlier in life to help with successful breastfeeding.

How is Tongue Tie Surgery Performed?

Tongue tie surgery can be done in a doctor’s office, hospital, or outpatient surgery center. The procedure is often done in a clinical setting without the need for general anesthesia, and can take only a few minutes. It usually involves cutting the band of tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth with scissors or a laser.

Recovery After Tongue Tie Surgery

After tongue tie surgery, the area where the incision was made may be a little sore for a day or two. There may also be some minor bleeding and swelling at the site of the incision. Your doctor may recommend pain relievers and ice packs to help manage any discomfort or pain. Most children and adults recover from the procedure quickly and are able to resume normal activities within a few days.

Risks of Tongue Tie Surgery

Tongue tie surgery is a low-risk procedure, but, as with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks. In some cases, the incision may become infected or re-open, and in rare cases, there can be complications with general anesthesia. Overall, the risks of the procedure are low and most people will recover with no complications.

In Summary

Tongue tie surgery, or frenotomy, is a relatively simple procedure that is used to improve tongue mobility and can be done in a doctor’s office, hospital, or outpatient surgery center. The surgery is most commonly recommended in cases where the condition is causing significant problems with eating, drinking, swallowing, speaking, or oral health. The recovery from the procedure is usually quick and most people will recover with no complications. Overall, tongue tie surgery is a low-risk and effective procedure for improving the mobility of the tongue.