Frenotomy

A frenotomy is a procedure to clip the thin piece of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth or gum. It can be used to treat breastfeeding problems in newborns who are tongue-tied.

It is a quick procedure and causes minimal discomfort to the infant. 

If your baby is being breastfed, this outpatient procedure will take place in the Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic. Depending on how active your baby is at the time of the procedure, he or she might be placed in a Velcro wrap to help hold still.

A nurse or assistant will secure the baby's head and arms as the physician gently lifts the tongue and clips the frenulum with special scissors.

The baby will be awake and will not need to have the mouth numbed, since there are very few nerve endings or blood vessels in this thin piece of tissue.

There may be a drop or two of blood at the site where the tissue was snipped. Crying is usually limited only to the period in which the infant is restrained. Breastfeeding can be resumed immediately after the procedure.

A small white or yellow patch may be seen under the tongue for several days after the procedure. This is a normal healing process. A lactation consultant will call you the day after the frenotomy to ensure your infant is doing well and to answer any questions you may have.

Your baby will have no limitations in eating after the procedure. Your breast milk will help keep the site from getting infected.

Call your doctor if there is bleeding in the mouth, if your baby develops a fever, or your baby appears to be in discomfort when eating.

For additional information on this Health Topic, call the Center for Breastfeeding Medicine at 513-636-2326.

Last Updated 08/2013