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Tongue-tie
to snip not?


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#1 aababy

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

DS is 2 weeks old. During the hospital stay, one nurse has noticed he has tongue-tie and put it down in the green book. Other nurses checked afterwards and said it is close to normal, or ‘borderline’ tongue-tie because the tie is a bit away from the tongue tip. The tongue does not seem 'normal 'to me, it is short, and the tip is quite flat, or even curved in a bit (like a heart-shaped).

During BF, I noticed that my nipples get  ridged. Other than that, no big issues. We are seeing Paed Thursday. Have been doing a bit research from googling (http://www.betterhea.../Tongue-tie.pdf
) and EB, and weighing the short and long term risks and benefits of snipping. The majou risk is infection, but I think we have to take it and it is not worse than the uncertainty of not getting normal and ending up to need snip when he gets old.

Don’t know what the Paed would say. From experience he is quite relax and his response is more likely to be wait and see, especially that the tongue-tie is not that bad ATM. So not sure how can we make an argument of snipping sooner than later.

Sometime not sure on ourselves too, are we being selfish for not wanting to take the uncertainty and putting DS to some ‘unnecessary’ procedure. Really need some clarity and encouragement.




#2 ubermum

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:55 PM

Feeding fine, no nipple damage, no slipping off and wind, gaining weight well, borderline tie, I would leave it. It will stretch.

My middle child had her tongue tie released because we needed it done, badly. The baby I am currently feeding wasn't done as it wasn't severe and I would have described it the same as your child's.

#3 treefalls

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:11 PM

I 2nd Ubermum... If your baby is getting enough milk, I'm sure you can leave it. Having said that, the procedure is pretty simple and I don't know the stats on infection, but it doesn't seem like there would be a lot of potential for this. When my son had it done, I was freaking out about it .... but then I seriously couldn't believe how quick and painless the procedure seemed to be. My son screamed the house down while it was happening, but it was mainly because there was a light shining in his face and a couple of pairs of gloved hands trying to grab hold of his tongue!!

In any case, they won't snip it without going through an assessment. At The Womens' in Melbourne they had a checklist to assess the severity of my son's tongue tie and it had to 'make the grade' before they would do anything about it. My son was literally unable to stimulate the let down reflex and breastfeed, so his was pretty severe. It's also worth noting that even if you have it freed, it's the shape of the palate that affects what happens to your nipples. I was told that the tongue smooths out the baby's palate while it's in utero - in tongue tied babies, the palate remains high and arched so that they suck the nipple into the top of their mouth instead of to the back of their throat. My nipples were a really odd shape when I breastfed my son, even after having the snip. No actual damage though.

#4 bluedragon

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

Personally I would definitely get it done now, if it needs doing when baby is older it becomes a more involved procedure and more painful too. It doesn't just affect feeding but can affect many other things, in particular speech.

If you are getting issues with your nipples, however mild, then the tie is affecting your babies ability to feed. A friend just had her 7 week olds tie snipped and even though it was mild and she wasn't having many issues much like you she said the difference since has been quite noticeable. If you are seeing the tounge making a heart shape to me I would have thought that would have been more than a mild tie.

#5 lucky 2

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:26 PM

There is no benefit from having any degree of tongue tie but there are potential negative impacts from having one.
Complications from the procedure are rare when done by a health practitioner who is experienced in the assessmant and release of tongue ties.
The link below has more information.
http://www.thewomens.org.au/tonguetieinformationforfamilies
My dd had a heart shaped tongue and she could breast feed but squashed my nipple to a degree.
I had her tongue snipped when she was 4 weeks old, I was conflicted but I could see how restricted the movement of the tongue was, even though she could manage to breast feed.
Now she is 8 she still has a very tethered tongue despite the snip, I can only imagine how much more restricted it would have been if none of the tether had been released.


#6 Paddlepop

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:51 PM

Get it done now. Don't wait. It is so much easier and cheaper to fix a newborn's tongue tie than to leave it and then have to fix it when they are older.

My DD has a tongue tie and is having it fixed under a general anaesthetic next month. She is 2y9mths. She was never able to breastfeed, and was only able to bottlefeed from particular teats. She was checked when in hospital at birth, but the midwives didn't think that she had a tongue tie. It is now very obvious that she has a tongue tie with the classic heart shaped tongue tip, inability to lift her tongue upwards at all, and a very thick and tight frenulum/frenum.

She has also had trouble eating lumpy food and meat. We thought that she was just fussy but she hasn't been able to eat these because of her tongue tie. She also has delayed speech, and cannot say any of the sounds that require the tongue to go upwards.

For a newborn, tongue tie release will be a simple snip in the paed's office, then straight onto the breast for a feed. For an older child, like my DD, she will need a hospital admission for day surgery under GA, a surgeon, stitches, pain relief for a few days, and speech therapy afterwards to teach her how to use her tongue to speak properly. We are currently looking at about $1000 out of pocket expenses after PHI and Medicare, and this will increase depending on how much speech therapy DD needs.

The reason that it is so simple for a newborn to have the tie released is because the frenulum has very little blood supply or nerves when the child is a newborn. As the child ages, these increase. Hence, my DD needing a GA and stitches.

Another problem that can be associated with tongue tie is a labial frenulum that can cause the upper front teeth to have a significant gap between them. A labial frenulum is the stringy bit joining the upper lip to the upper gum. My DD also has a very thick labial frenulum with a large gap between her front teeth. She is having this released also during her tongue tie operation. Otherwise in the future we will probably be facing very expensive orthodontic work to correct the teeth.

I have a thread about my DD's tongue tie in the 24-36 months forum, there is another tongue tie thread in 5-8 years from the start of October, and another in 0-6 months. Links:

http://www.essentialkids.com.au/forums/ind...owtopic=1015011
http://www.essentialkids.com.au/forums/ind...owtopic=1015279
http://www.essentialkids.com.au/forums/ind...owtopic=1028374

Best of luck with your decision, and congratulations on your new baby!

#7 summermama

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:37 AM

We were told to get DD checked and we saw the surgeon to decide if it really needed to be done ( no feeding problems). He was no help - saying that yes there was a tie he could cut but it may never bother her, so he wouldnt recommend either way. In the end we didn't go ahead with it because feeding was not affected, and now at age 2.5 there is no evidence of a tongue tie so it must have stretched, or not been bad enough to begin with.

#8 CCLady

Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:18 AM

We got it snipped, breast feeding/latch/ attachment was IMMEDIATELY better, even though feeding was going OK. He was so much more efficient and no longer dropped off.

Would do it again in a heart beat.

Just to add, he was about 3 weeks old I think.

#9 eM_Mille

Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

My DS had one and it was picked up straight away so was snipped on day 2 or 3 in hospital. I noticed an improvement in feeding straight away, even though his was mild.

Turns out I have one myself, but it's never affected my speech (or ability to eat!) so who knows....

If my next baby has one I'd get it snipped again.

#10 ollies-mum

Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

Please do it. Im having to give up breastfeeding at 4.5 mths as its too late to snip and pead doesnt want to put him under a general.

#11 namie

Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

DS1 had a mild tongue tie which we had snipped at 3 days old while still in hospital.

His paed said if we didn't get it done he'd likely have difficulty licking an ice cream, kissing a girl (I'm assuming he meant 'playing tonsil hockey' style kissing), and licking the outside of his lips. It was explained as being a straight forward procedure and that he'd heal quickly.

DP went with DS1 when it was done and it literally was a quick snip, then brought him back to me for an immediate breastfeed and he was absolutely fine, like nothing was wrong, but he did attach better than he had been before.

#12 lucky 2

Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

QUOTE (ollies-mum @ 13/11/2012, 09:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Please do it. Im having to give up breastfeeding at 4.5 mths as its too late to snip and pead doesnt want to put him under a general.

I would imagine it wouldn't be a heavy GA as probably wouldn't take long to do.
I suspect that missing out on breast milk from 4.5mths of age would be be more of a health risk than a GA in a well baby in uncomplicated circumstances.
Could you get a second opinion and in the meantime consider expressing and bottle feeding ebm?
I'm sorry to hear you are going through this.

#13 aababy

Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

Thanks for all your advice and links. Paddlepop – Sorry that your DD has to go through all these. A the best with the coming procedure and a speedy recovery. ollies-mum – must be very hard to have to give up BF. Wish the feeding has been resolved well for DS.

Just an update. We went to see Paed yesterday and he said it was mild tongue tie. Given the  problem with BF (though not very bad), his advice was to get snipped and we said yes. It was fairly quick procedure. He used a small knife to cut it and there were drops bloods. DS cried a bit then was put on feeding in 5 minutes. I do notice that there are small white patch under the tongue, as mentioned in one website. Hopefully it can be cleared in a week or two.

He has been all fine after the procedure, feed and sleep as usual. So far haven’t noticed big difference in feeding. The nipple still look a bit squashed but may be not as bad as before. The nurses during our hospital stay did check his palate and it is intact which they explained as normal and not arched. One thing is that my nipples seemed ‘over-sized’  ohmy.gif   and may be a little too big to fit in to the tiny mouth.

It has been anxious days but we are glad that it has been fixed for now. Thanks again everyone - couldn’t have done it so soon without your support and reassurance.


#14 Paddlepop

Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:18 PM

I'm so happy to hear that you had your baby's tongue tie snipped, and that he is doing well.

My DD is an anxious little thing and understands pretty much everything that we say to her, and is getting quite worried about her surgery. We will hear her on the baby monitor stressing out when she is supposed to be having a nap. It hasn't helped that DH had a tongue lesion and tonsils removed last week, and has been in considerable pain and discomfort, and I had my wisdom teeth out a few months ago. The poor little thing is worried that she will have that much pain too. I've managed to get her surgery moved to be 5 days earlier than originally planned, and she will be the first on the surgery list at 7am instead of 12:30pm. She has to fast for 6 hours prior to surgery. It won't be easy to explain to her that she can't even have a drink of water when we will basically be getting her out of bed, changing her nappy and then into the car for a 30 minute drive to the hospital.

I guess that we'll just have to make it up to her later with ice cream and chocolate milk!




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