Frenuloplasty for tongue-tie

Frenuloplasty is the release of the tissue (lingual frenulum) that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth and closure of the wound with stitches. It is the preferred surgery for tongue-tie in a child over the age of 1 or 2 years.

During the procedure, the doctor clips the lingual frenulum to release the tongue and then stitches the resulting triangular-shaped wound closed. Pressure may be applied to stop any bleeding that occurs. See an illustration of frenuloplasty.

Younger children having a frenuloplasty may need general anesthesia; older children and adults may receive a local anesthetic.

After the procedure, the child or adult can resume a normal diet and may use acetaminophen, such as Tylenol or Panadol, for pain or discomfort.

Complications from tongue-tie surgery are rare but may include:

  • Infection at the site.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Recurrent tongue-tie from scar tissue formation. Tongue-tie may be more likely to recur after a simple release of the tissue (frenotomy) than after frenuloplasty. If tongue-tie recurs, it is generally less severe than it was before the surgery.

Older children and adults may need to do tongue exercises several times daily for about 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery. These exercises help strengthen the tongue muscle, improve mobility of the tongue, and reduce the chances of scar tissue formation.

Last Updated: August 20, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.