Tongue Tie is a condition where the thin membrane of tissue beneath the tongue is shorter or thicker than it should be. Ties can be classified as anterior or posterior. A tongue tie can restrict the normal movement of the tongue and can cause breast or bottle feeding issues.
This may cause problems with breastfeeding including
- Nipple pain/damage
- Narrow latch
- Fussing/sliding off the breast
- Nipple compression/flattening
- Poor weight gain in infants or slow return to birth weight
Bottle fed infants also can experience problems such as
- Taking a long time to drink a small volume of formula
- Excessive dribbling of milk from the corners of the mouth during a feed
- Clicking during feeding
- Difficulty latching to the bottle
What does the procedure involve?
A frenotomy is a procedure whereby this thin membrane is snipped to release the tongue to improve the problems associated with tongue tie. This is a simple procedure which takes only a few seconds.
Dr Quigley will discuss the feeding issues with the parents before examining the baby. If the procedure is deemed necessary, Dr Quigley will explain in detail the risks and benefits. The baby is given either topical sucrose or local anaesthetic before being swaddled. The membrane is then snipped with scissors and the baby is returned immediately to mum for a feed. Mothers attending with babies are encouraged to breast feed after the procedure as a source of comfort for the baby. Improvements with latching can also be assessed at this stage, and any questions/issues can be discussed. If the baby is over 8 weeks old, it is advised to give Calpol 2.5ml 30mins prior to the procedure to help with pain relief.
Risks with this procedure:
- Bleeding- usually a few drops to approximately a teaspoonful.
- Infection- 1/10,000
- Reattachment (when the membrane grows back)
- Local nerve damage/Salivary gland damage
It is advised that the wound be massaged gently 6 times daily for 4 weeks to prevent reattachment. This is not intended to be forceful or cause pain to the baby. The massage should begin the evening of the procedure. Dr Quigley will demonstrate this massage during the consultation. The baby may be out of sorts for the day after the procedure. This can be managed with lots of feeding, skin to skin contact and calpol regulary if needed.
This procedure is carried out by Dr Rachel Quigley at this practice.
Please phone for details.
Cost 200 euro
Dr Ghaheri’s website- this is a very useful site for information on tongue tie and release
This is a link to a youtube clip of post frenotomy exercises/mouthcare
Please click on the link to read an interview with a craniosacral therapist where Dr Quigley explains how tongue tie affects breastfeeding and how tongue tie is corrected.