What is a frenotomy?

A frenotomy or frenectomy is a procedure used to correct a congenital condition in which the lingual (tongue) or labial (upper lip) frenulum is too tight, causing restrictions in movement that can cause significant difficulty with breastfeeding, and in some instances, other health problems like dental decay or spacing, speech difficulties and digestive issues. When it affects the lingual frenulum, this condition is commonly called a tongue tie (the medical term is ankyloglossia).  Approximately 5% of the population has this condition, so your lactation consultant or doctor may feel that a procedure is warranted to improve symptoms.

 

How to prepare for the procedure

The best way to prepare for the procedure is to have the medications that you will need on hand so you can focus on your child following the procedure.

Tylenol - Dosage: Using the dropper in the manufacturer's packaging. This can be given every 6-8 hours after the procedure. The concentration of Tylenol should be the 160mg/5mL dosage. Some places may sell a concentrated form at 80mg/0.8mL - this is not the one I want you to use.

  • 6-11 pounds - 1.25mL
  • 12-17 pounds - 2.5mL
  • 18-23 pounds - 3.75mL 
  • 24-35 pounds - 5mL

For children 6 months of age or older, you may use ibuprofen instead (or with Tylenol). Please follow the dosing instructions on the package.

You may use whatever works for your family. This includes homeopathic remedies like arnica or Rescue Remedy, or nothing at all. Because numbing medicine is used during the procedure, and because the laser itself has some analgesic properties, not everyone needs a medication beforehand.