A frenuloplasty is the surgical procedure used to correct ankyloglossia commonly known as tongue-tie.
When is a frenuloplasty a consideration?
If you raise your tongue to the roof of your mouth you will see a band of tissue underneath your tongue called the frenulum. This band helps anchor your tongue to the floor of your mouth. If this string of tissue is too short or tight, you would have trouble moving your tongue well enough to touch the roof of your mouth. This can cause both feeding and speech problems.
Tongue-tie is present at birth. Most often, the frenulum (band of tissue) gradually stretches and there is no problem. In a newborn, if the tongue-tie is significant it can cause feeding problems. This is especially true with mothers trying to breast feed. If feeding problems are not present and the frenulum does not stretch, treatment can be reconsidered. Keep in mind that speech difficulties secondary to tongue-tie are rare and usually just cause articulation difficulties for certain sounds. In the older child, we may recommend a full speech evaluation before recommending surgery.
What is involved with correcting tongue-tie?
The surgery to correct tongue-tie is an extremely simple operation requiring a short general anesthetic. The band of tissue under the tongue is released allowing for immediate improvement of tongue mobility. There are generally few or no stitches required and the procedure is most often performed as an outpatient. The whole procedure takes less than 10 minutes.