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Frenotomy for Tongue-Tie

A frenotomy is a procedure to release the tissue (lingual frenulum) that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth. It is the preferred surgery for tongue-tie in babies younger than 1 year of age.

The procedure is done in the hospital's newborn nursery or in a doctor's office without anesthesia or with a local anesthetic.

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During the procedure, the doctor lifts the baby's tongue and clips the lingual frenulum. More than one cut may be needed to release the tongue. Stitches usually are not required, and there is little bleeding after the procedure. See a picture of a frenotomy .

You can feed your baby right away after the procedure. If you think your baby has pain or discomfort, you can give him or her acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.

The doctor may want to check your baby 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure to see that the area has healed.

Complications from tongue-tie surgery are rare but may include:

  • Infection at the site.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Recurrent tongue-tie from scar tissue formation. This may be more likely to happen after a frenotomy than after a release-and-surgical-closure procedure (frenuloplasty). If recurrent tongue-tie happens, it is typically less severe than it was before the surgery.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Chuck Norlin, MD, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised July 26, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 26, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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