Dr.SergioMorral Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon.

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Sublabial or sublingual frenulum

Sublabial or sublingual frenulum

The sublingual frenulum is a band of fibrous tissue covered by a mucosal membrane that connects the base of the tongue in the midline and is projected on the floor of the mouth.

There are two distinct parts under the tongue, the one near the tongue is fleshy and wide, the other one is very thin, almost transparent, and lacks vessels. The proportion between these two segments determines the technique to be used in order to release the frenulum.

At birth, and usually because of lack of tongue’s mobility, the frenulum seems to be shorter than it should be, and in some cases, it produces a deformation of the tongue, giving the impression of being split in two, like a bifid tongue. This problem is easily detected in the newborns.

If the frenulum is very short, the tongue movements are affected and restricted, generally causing eating disorders due to sucking and excessive drooling deficit.

Many doctors recommend cutting it during the first months of life in order to help spread the tongue well and restore its normal functions. But, there are other doctors who do not consider it necessary since, in many cases, the fibrous band stretches and allows the normal functioning of the tongue, therefore each case must be evaluated individually.

The doctors who are in favor of a surgical intervention, consider it a simple and low-risk surgery, which in very young children does not require stitches as the constitution of the tongue is fibrous and without sanguineous vessels in this area.

In children who are no longer infants, the fleshy segment increases more than the fibrous one, so, it is necessary to expand the sectioning path, and therefore sedate or anesthetize the boy or girl for surgery and, in some cases, it may be also necessary to place dissolvable stitches or use electrosurgery.

After surgery, discomfort is usually mild, and complications occur in very rare cases, however, follow the doctor’s instructions to avoid infections.

TYPE OF INTERVENTION: Surgical

TYPE OF ANESTHESIA: Local

AVERAGE SURGICAL TIME: 10 min-1h

AVERAGE HOSPITALIZATION TIME: Not required

AVERAGE POST-DISCHARGE RECOVERY TIME: 1-6 days, depending on the procedure

LEVEL OF SATISFACTION: Very high