Benefits of frenulotomy in infants with ankyloglossia

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 May;77(5):762-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


Objectives: Ankyloglossia is a common, congenital abnormality often causing feeding difficulties in infants. This study aimed to evaluate indications and outcomes of frenulotomy performed in infants with ankyloglossia for breast-feeding difficulties.

Methods: 85 patients were prospectively identified as they underwent frenulotomy in Pinderfields Hospital ENT outpatient department between February 2008 and February 2011. 52 patients were successfully followed up with a telephone questionnaire about effects on breast-feeding and any complications.

Results: All mothers had experienced problems breast-feeding prior to frenulotomy. Following frenulotomy 40/52 (77%) of mothers reported an improvement in breast-feeding within 2 weeks of the procedure. No complications were reported.

Conclusion: This study supports the view that ankyloglossia is a common cause of breast-feeding difficulties. However the lack of universal improvement in breast-feeding following frenulotomy suggests that it is not the only cause of problems and supports the clinician approaching these situations holistically and exploring other causes.

MeSH terms

  • Ankyloglossia
  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Lingual Frenum / abnormalities*
  • Lingual Frenum / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Mouth Abnormalities / complications
  • Mouth Abnormalities / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome