Frenectomy

A frenectomy (also known as a frenulectomy, frenulotomy or frenotomy) is the removal of a frenulum, a small fold of tissue that attaches to the gum or mucosa in the mouth. Done mostly for breastfeeding or orthodontic purposes, a frenectomy is either performed inside the middle of upper lip, which is called labial frenectomy, or under the tongue, called lingual frenectomy. Frenectomy is a common dental procedure and is performed both on children and adults.

Sometimes the intervention is required on a newborn for breastfeeding purposes. Too tight or too constricted, it will limit the child’s range of motion of the tongue, lip, or both and alter the mechanics of effective milk transfer.

That could result in (but not limited to):

  • poor latch
  • longer feeds
  • cracked nipples
  • mastitis
  • altered swallowing pattern
  • altered airway development
  • altered jaw development
  • speech (later on)

The intervention lasts about 30-60 seconds and is performed with a LightScalpel 10600nm LASER, which prevents from the need of stitches. The surgical area is prepared with a topical anesthetic. Your child will be swaddled during the procedure. You will be asked to stay in our office after the surgery to breastfeed and take care of your child. You are advised to be seen first with your lactation consultant 3-5 days after surgery. Your progress will be evaluated at the 1-week follow-up appointment.

Frenectomy Post-Operative Care

  • Maxillary frenectomy post-surgical care: Pull the upper lip upward at least 4 times a day.
  • Lingual frenectomy post-surgical care: Placing both index fingers under the tongue and pushing upward and backwards at least 4 times a day, until our follow-up appointment.
  • Pain medication (Tempra) if needed
  • Baby Orajel “Naturals” if needed or Coconut Oil
  • Follow up with your IBCLC, LC

Video link for the exercises:

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