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Infant lip/tongue tie Laser Frenectomy

Ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue-tie, is the restriction of the tongue caused by a strong, thick membrane attached to the underside of the tongue and connects to the floor of the mouth.  Infants with this condition can have a disadvantage from successfully breastfeeding and/ or causing discomfort for their mother.  This congenital oral anomaly can cause a poor latch, which can lead to:

  •    Colic & excessive gassiness
  •    Reflux
  •    Inadequate milk intake
  •    Poor weight gain/ failure to thrive
  •    Falling asleep on the breast
  •    Lengthy/ too numerous nursing sessions.
  •    Unable to maintain a latch or a deep enough latch
  •    Unable or unwilling to hold a pacifier
  •    Premature weaning from the breast

In response to this condition, the mother can have the following issues:

  •    Difficulty or unable to breastfeed  
  •    Painful compression of nipples
  •    Mastitis, engorgement, thrush
  •    Vasospasm
  •    Anxiety , stress & fatigue
  •    Post-partum depression
  •    Early cession of lactation
  •    Bleeding, cracked and flattened nipples
  •    Low milk supply
  •    Feelings of guilt from unsuccessful breastfeeding relationship

A lip tie can also inhibit an infant from attaining a deep latch by keeping the lip from flanging outward, which creates a better seal. This is the first step in generating the negative pressure for breastfeeding.  When an upper lip tie tethers the lip downward, that flanging motion is inhibited, forcing the baby into a more shallow position on the breast. This can cause identical issues as listed above for anklyglossia.

The Procedure:

The infant will be laid on the examiner’s lap with his feet facing away from the clinician. The baby will be evaluated for abnormal upper lip frenum and ankyloglossia.  The doctor may ask to see the baby latched on the breast to evaluate latch depth and lip flange.  The use of a CO2 laser will be used for frenum correction if diagnosed medically necessary.  The laser method has many advantages over the conventional clipping:

  •  No need for sedation
  •  Virtually no chance of infection
  •  Little to no bleeding
  •  No more than 2-3 minutes to complete procedure
  •  Very little post op swelling or discomfort
  •  There is no known contraindication for frenum laser surgery on a healthy infant
  •  No drugs used; no allergic reaction concerns