Frenulectomy or Tongue Tie Surgery

Removal of the frenulum membrane near the tip of the tongue.

Frenulectomy is a medical procedure involving the removal of the frenulum – small bands of restrictive tissue typically found in the mouth, digestive tract and genitals.

In periodontic treatments, frenulectomy typically refers to the removal or splitting of this membrane near the tip of the tongue.

The frenulum under the tongue can restrict tongue movement: particularly in young children. This can result in:

  • Difficulty swallowing and feeding
  • Speech impediments and other obstacles with language development
  • Abnormal cosmetic appearance

This condition is often referred to as “tongue tie,” which is why frenulectomy is often known as tongue tie surgery.

Frenulectomy Procedure

A typical frenulectomy or tongue tie surgery is a relatively simple procedure. When performed on newborns (as young as 3 months old), the procedure is no more than cutting the lingual frenulum under the tongue.

This procedure has minimal side effects and little or no recovery time – the baby can begin feeding immediately afterward.

When a frenulectomy is performed on a toddler or older child, a mild anesthetic is typically used. The frenulum is then separated by laser or cauterizing tool. A few stitches may be required and the entire procedure only takes between 15-30 minutes.