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Tongue Tie Surgery: How Long Does it Take?

If you find out that you or your child has a tongue tie condition, you might consider having a tongue tie surgery. Tongue tie surgery can help to improve speech and make it easier to eat and drink. But how long does it take to get a tongue tie surgery and how long does the procedure last?

What is a Tongue Tie?

The results of tongue tie are the same for children and adults, but the experience of having a tongue tie is very different. Tongue tie, also known as Ankyloglossia, is a condition that restricts the movement of the tongue. This is caused by an abnormally short tongue. Unable to move the tongue into different positions can make it difficult to eat, speak and even swallow.

Severe tongue ties can cause feeding difficulties such as breastfeeding problems. Children often experience delays in learning to talk and difficulty pronunciation of words. The physical limits of the tongue’s range of movement may also lead to fatigue while using the tongue, and to muscle and joint pain.

For adults with tongue tie, this condition can also cause difficulty swallowing, make speaking certain words difficult, and could even cause earaches. While in adults, the speech impediment is usually less severe than in children, and few individuals remain functionally disabled from undiagnosed or untreated tongue tie.

How Long Does it Take to Get Tongue Tie Surgery?

If you or your child has been diagnosed with a tongue tie, scheduling a surgery can depend on many factors including the availability of the surgeon, your location and the urgency of surgery. Due to mild to severe symptoms of the condition, surgeons typically make an effort to prioritize individuals with a diagnosis early on in life. It is not uncommon for young children to scheduled within a few weeks, while it is also possible for adults to wait a few months for an operation date. It is important to consult with a surgeon to check if it is necessary for the procedure to be done as an emergency surgery.

How Long Does the Procedure Last?

The actual tongue tie surgery is usually a quick outpatient procedure. The child or individual is administrated Local anesthetic and the surgeon will use a sterile pair of scissors or a laser to release ankyloglossia (the medical term for tongue tie). The surgeon will cut the lingual frenum (the membrane that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) to allow for better movement of the tongue.

The surgery only lasts a few minutes and the patient can return home immediately after. There might be some slight discomfort as local anesthetic wears off and it is recommended to be mindful of and gentle with the surgical site for a few days to facilitate the healing process. Adults may require mild pain relievers to reduce any discomfort, while the child can experience popsicles or cold drinks to aid in the healing process.

What to Expect Post-Surgery

There are few complications to expect following the tongue-tie surgery except for rare cases. For one, there is the rare possibility of an infection if the surgical site was not properly cared for post-surgery. The most common experience for adults or children undergoing the procedure is some slight discomfort for a few days. Once the wound is healed, immediately after the procedure, the symptoms of tongue tie are typically gone. Once the muscle heals, the tongue will be able to move more freely, making drinking, eating, and speaking more comfortable.

Final Thoughts

Tongue tie surgery is a low-risk outpatient procedure that is commonly used not only in children with this condition, but also increasingly in adults. With a few weeks to up to a couple months wait to book the operation, having the tongue tie surgery done can help to quickly and effectively alleviate symptoms associated with the condition. Once the surgery is complete, the patient will experience relief with any symptoms that were associated with their tongue tie.

It is important to consult with a surgeon to determine the severity of the tongue tie, and discuss the surgery and recovery process. With unparalleled relief of symptoms, tongue tie surgery is definitely worth the time and effort.