A frenotomy is a surgical procedure that can be performed with or without anesthesia in a hospital nursery or doctor’s office.
Using sterile scissors, the doctor clips the frenulum free. Since there are few nerve endings or blood vessels in the lingual frenulum, the procedure is quick and discomfort is minimal. If bleeding does occur, it is likely to be a drop or two. Breastfeeding can resume following the procedure.
Although frenotomy complications are uncommon, they may include bleeding or infection, or damage to the tongue or salivary glands. Scarring and frenulum reattachment are also possible.
If additional repair is required or if the lingual frenulum is too thick for a frenotomy, a more extensive procedure called a frenuloplasty may be performed.
A frenuloplasty is performed under general anesthesia with surgical tools to release the frenulum. Stitches are then used to close the wound, which will dissolve as the tongue heals.
Similar to a frenotomy, procedure complications are rare but include bleeding or infection, or damage to the tongue or salivary glands. It’s also possible to have scarring and reactions to anesthesia.