When mothers are confronted with the fact that their infant may benefit from a lingual frenectomy in order to remove an overly taut lingual frenelum, a frequent question is: “Should I go with a provider who can perform a laser frenectomy or are scissors okay?”

It is an understandable question but the more relevant and important questions are:

  1. How experienced and trained is my provider?
  2. How does a tongue tie inhibit proper breastfeeding?
  3. What is the proper way to actively manage the wound post-procedure?
  4. How can I properly manage recovery through daily stretches with my infant?

I’ve answered these questions in a more comprehensive post Frenectomy for Infants: Tongue Tied Newborns. I recommend that you give it a read to further educate yourself!

However, in regards to laser frenectomy versus scissors, I am happy to elaborate on what the procedure entails.

Laser Frenectomy FAQ’s

Which frenectomy tool is better/safer: lasers or scissors?

With the assumption that the provider is skilled and trained in their particular instrument, BOTH instruments have proven to be successful in long-term treatment. My opinion is that a laser yields a more precise and complete result than scissors when treating an infant. Laser treatment limits the amount of bleeding as it cauterizes the tissues within your child’s mouth, minimizing risk of infection because of this.

How does the procedure work?

The pen-sized laser is used to remove the tight lingual frenulum. The infant is swaddled and safety goggles are always used to protect baby’s eyes. The procedure is completed in just a few minutes.

Does it hurt?

I apply an effective topical anesthetic gel on the frenular tissue prior to treatment, allowing for zero to minimal discomfort during the procedure. The anesthetic lasts for approximately 30 minutes.

What happens after the procedure?

Breastfeeding is encouraged immediately following the procedure, however typically there is a healing period that your infant must undergo before the full benefits are realized. I teach each mother proper active wound management and daily stretching exercises in order to facilitate healing. As explained in another post, I cannot stress enough the importance of continued lactation support following the frenectomy procedure. Post-treatment follow up is just as important as pre-treatment care. I send a detailed report of my assessment and/or procedure to the lactation consultant and stay up to date with baby’s progress. Baby will continue to build strength over the healing period and will require further guidance on developing positive breastfeeding habits.

What else should I know?

Schedule a consultation with me and I’m happy to examine your baby’s lingual frenelum to determine if a laser frenectomy is recommended. I will review with you in more detail what the procedure entails and what to expect during and after. Don’t hesitate to take action in order to improve your baby’s breastfeeding!