Surgical Options for a Tongue Tie
A shortened frenum or a tongue tie can lead to speech problems in children. So, if a tongue tie is diagnosed, a speech pathologist would often try to rectify the problems with speech, swallowing or feeding using therapeutic sessions. If that doesn’t work, a tongue tie surgery may be recommended.
Surgical Options: Based on the age of the child and the associated frenum problem a surgery would be required. Four surgical options are available which are all equally efficient techniques as far as success rate is concerned. Let us examine the options available.
Snipping: This surgery is an option during infancy. Usually mothers who experience pain while breastfeeding their infants often observe the problem with the infant’s frenum which is very tight. So, snipping it off during this stage can help mother’s feed without any pain.
However, snipping the tongue tie during infancy may lead to speech problems in the future and a second surgery would become essential for improving speech.
General Anaesthetic Surgery: For this kind of surgery, the doctors would have to wait until the infant is at least 6 months old, during which period feeding mothers would face problems. But, a general anaesthetic when used at this stage would not lead to any reactions in the child.
- For this surgery, a half day stay in the hospital along with fasting prior to the surgery would be necessary. The anaesthesia takes at least 4 minutes to take effect and the incision made is sealed with the help of soluble stitches.
- The stitches would cause discomfort for a period of at least 10 days after which speech therapy can be commenced. This surgery is considered a safe option with minimal bleeding.
Laser Surgery: Unlike the surgery with a general anaesthetic, laser surgery uses an analgesic gel and the surgery is completed in 3 minutes time. There is no bleeding or pain whatsoever that the patient will observe. This technique is considered to be safe for adults, children and infants alike.
It takes only two hours for healing and speech therapy can be started in two days.
Electocautery Revision: A safe and economical surgery, this one is performed by using a local anaesthetic.
Although speech therapy is a well renowned technique, a tongue tie surgery can help people with shorter frenum lengths attain right speech sounds a bit quickly.