Pediatric tongue-tie division: indications, techniques and patient satisfaction

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Oct;73(10):1399-401. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2009.07.004. Epub 2009 Aug 5.


Objective: To study the characteristics and outcome of paediatric tongue-tie division.

Patients and methods: Retrospective analyses of 317 paediatric tongue-tie divisions (frenotomy or frenuloplasty).

Results: Based on a questionnaire returned by 159 (51%) of patients (or guardians) the most common indication was speech/articulation problems (64%). Other indications included restricted movement (18%) and lactation/nutrition problems (8%). 84% of patients (or guardians) reported benefit from the operation. The initial surgical technique was frenotomy (no or local anaesthesia) for 34%, frenotomy (general anaesthesia) for 16%, frenuloplasty (no or local anaesthesia) for 5% and frenuloplasty (general anaesthesia) for 46% of the patients. Almost one-third of children treated with frenotomy under no or local anaesthesia needed re-operation compared to one out of 181 (0.6%) treated with frenotomy or frenuloplasty under general anaesthesia. There were no postoperative complications.

Conclusions: Frenotomy under no or local anaesthesia is safe and cost-effective, but one-third of children need re-operation. Adequate division of the frenulum is more important than the technique (frenuloplasty vs. frenotomy) used and seems to be easier to achieve under general anaesthesia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lingual Frenum / abnormalities*
  • Lingual Frenum / surgery*
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Mouth Abnormalities / complications
  • Mouth Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Mouth Abnormalities / surgery
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Disorders / etiology
  • Speech Disorders / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome