The best person to answer this query would be the doctor. The doctor and lactation consultant will examine the baby thoroughly and suggest the best treatment for the baby with a tongue-tie. A tongue-tie surgery may or may not be necessary, and this depends on the extent of the tongue-tie and other complications.
A tongue-tie surgery helps the infant latch on to the mother’s breasts naturally. Doctors had been performing the surgeries right away after the condition is detected in infants. The number of surgeries performed for tongue-tie increased 10 times (from 1200 to 12,400) between 1997 and 2012. Some studies have demonstrated significant improvement in breastfeeding after tongue-tie surgery. Babies have gained weight after the surgery.
It is only in recent years that doctors have started to look at whether the surgery is really necessary and if alternative methods to correct the problem can help.
A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed 115 newborns with a tongue-tie. It found that 63% of babies didn’t need tongue-tie surgery to improve breastfeeding. All they needed was a thorough examination and treatment by a pediatric speech and language pathologist (SLP). Often the surgery has its own set of problems. The mothers need their babies/infants to do tongue exercises after these extensive procedures to prevent scarring and speech problems in the future.
The mothers should consult a lactation consultant to see if certain techniques can work to make breastfeeding easier for the infant with a possible tongue-tie. The problem of tongue-tie may also resolve on its own (the frenulum loosens over time). It may also persist without causing any problems to the infant and the mother. Experts have started to use the wait-and-see approach before recommending the surgery.
What is tongue-tie?
About 10 out of 100 babies are born with a condition known as ankyloglossia, popularly known as tongue-tie. The condition makes it difficult for the infant to properly latch on the mother’s breasts for breastfeeding. This may lead to the baby not getting adequate nutrition. The mother’s breast may also get engorged, swell, and pain due to inadequate emptying of the breasts.
There is a thin band of tissue known as the frenulum that connects the base of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In infants with tongue-tie, the frenulum is short or thick. Due to this, the infants cannot move their tongues freely in their mouths and have delayed development of proper speech and words.
What are the complications of tongue tie surgery?
A tongue-tie surgery is relatively safe but some extensive procedures, such as frenuloplasty carry the risk of:
Srinivasan A, Al Khoury A, Puzhko S, et al. Frenotomy in Infants With Tongue-Tie and Breastfeeding Problems. J Hum Lact. November 2019;35(4):706-712. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30543756/
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Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
cryoprecipitateCryoprecipitate is a blood product containing specialized insoluble blood proteins known as coagulation factors that regulate the clotting and clot-dissolving processes. Cryoprecipitate is obtained from plasma, the fluid component of blood, and is used to treat patients with blood clotting (coagulation) disorders and to control hemorrhage during major surgery or during and after childbirth. Common side effects of cryoprecipitate include transfusion-related complications, allergic reactions, and post-transfusion bruising (purpura).
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propofolPropofol is an intravenous anesthetic drug used for general anesthesia and sedation during surgical procedures. Common side effects of propofol include injection site burning, stinging or pain; low blood pressure (hypotension), reduced cardiac output, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), pause in breathing (apnea), lung impairment (respiratory acidosis), impaired movement, high level of emulsified fats in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and high triglyceride level in blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Abuse of propofol can cause death and other injuries.
succinylcholineSuccinylcholine is a skeletal muscle relaxant used for medical procedures done under general anesthesia, including tracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, and surgeries. Common side effects of succinylcholine include postoperative muscle pain, jaw rigidity, muscle twitch (fasciculation), respiratory depression, cessation of breathing (apnea), low or high blood pressure (hypotension or hypertension), irregular heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias), slow or rapid heartbeat (bradycardia or tachycardia), cardiac arrest, increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), severe life-threatening drug reaction with excessively high temperature (malignant hyperthermia), salivary gland enlargement, excessive salivation, rash, hypersensitivity reactions, and others.