BEFORE THE PROCEDURE
You will receive a confirmation email with lots of information on tongue-tie, and a video which explains some exercises, best done both before and after a tongue-tie release. It is now clear that babies who have the best outcomes are this who are well prepared. Please try this regularly in the days before your appointment - they will help prepare your baby, and yourself!
It is ideal that you do not feed your baby for up to 1 hour before your appointment since we want your baby to feed immediately after the procedure for pressure on the wound and for analgesia. If your baby becomes very distressed due to hunger, give him/her a small amount of milk in order to settle them, but not a full feed.
Please arrive on time as appointments are limited.
The tongue-tie can be separated in a quick procedure called a frenotomy. An assessment of the oral cavity is done using a torch and gloved finger.
Dr Vanessa Stitt will go through the findings on exam with you.
A numbing gel is applied to the area.
The procedure involves cutting through the fold of skin using scissors. The baby should be able to feed straight after having the procedure. Sometimes there are a few drops of blood. The whole procedure only takes a few minutes.
An assistant will stabilise your baby's head during the procedure. You will not be asked to hold your baby during the procedure.
You will be ready to feed your baby in an adjoining room.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
Immediately after the procedure its ideal to try and feed your baby. Feeding immediately after the procedure is important since it provides comfort and pain relief, but also reduces bleeding by applying pressure to the wound and protects against the small risk of infection.
Immediately following the procedure some mothers report a significant improvement in breastfeeding. For some mothers this improvement will take several feeds and indeed weeks, with the baby having to adjust their feeding technique with a more mobile tongue. This is often the case in babies with low tongue tone, older babies, or babies with significant cranial nerve dysfunction or autonomic dysregulation. Unfortunately, for a small proportion of mothers there may be no improvement in feeding. This is often when there are other factors affecting the infant's ability to feed effectively.
A small white/yellow spot often appears beneath the tongue within 24 hours of the procedure. This is part of the normal healing process, and will disappear in a few days to weeks.
Your baby’s normal routine should be followed, with regular feeds (every 2-3 hours on demand), and we strongly recommend that you seek support from your local breastfeeding support groups and from a lactation consultant if you are breastfeeding.
Your baby will have an aftercare plan, discussed with you are your appointment.