Vincent Cumberworth BSc FRCS Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon
Clementine Churchill Hospital Sudbury Hill Harrow Middlesex HA1 3RX
Private Secretary: Tel: 020 8872 3866 Fax: 0208872 3861

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Tongue Tie Division (Frenulotomy)

A tongue tie may prevent extrusion of the tip of the tongue beyond the lower incisors.

Often this may not have any significant adverse impacts at all but, in the presence of any concerns about articulation of speech or any other particular difficulties, then the procedure is easily remedied by a small procedure a frenulotomy.

The problem occurs when, embryologically, the under surface of the tongue does not fully mobilise and is generally easily corrected by division of the membrane or fibrous tissue which is fixing down the tip of the tongue into the floor of the mouth.

This is performed under general anaesthesia; in olden days it was generally performed in a GP surgery with scissors!  Typically, a very brief general anaesthetic is preferable as this permits careful division of the tissue so that the submandibular ducts (which convey saliva from the submandibular glands into the floor of the mouth, opening just under the frenulum of the tongue in the midline) are undisturbed.

The procedure is performed as a day case and, apart from a little soreness postoperatively for a few days, is generally straightforward.  Possible complications can include infection, scarring, and bleeding.  Re-fixation requiring further treatment is very rare.