Tongue tie is caused by a tight or short membrane under the tongue.
The tongue may appear blunt or forked or have a heart shaped appearance and may lead to breast feeding or bottle feeding difficulties.
Tongue tie is caused by a tight or short membrane under the tongue. The tongue tip may appear blunt or forked or have a heart shaped appearance. This may lead to breast feeding or bottle feeding difficulties. Tongue tie is a birth defect that affects 3-10% of new-born babies (1) but not all babies with tongue tie require an intervention.
Treating tongue tie early can aid breast feeding. Breast milk is reported to be the healthiest way to feed your baby, with benefits including longer protection and the breast milk adapting to meet your baby’s changing needs. Choosing to breast feed your new-born baby may be an easy decision, but sometimes breast feeding isn’t as easy as it seems.
For the mother it can lead to sore, damaged or bruised nipples and feeding can be painful and due to poor drainage. Mothers can develop mastitis, infection, congestion and reduced milk supply which can lead to more frequent feeds.
For the baby the restricted tongue movements mean they receive less milk and colic, wind and flatulence may be caused by excessive air swallowing.
Tongue ties can be treated with a procedure called frenulotomy where a medical assessment by a paediatric surgeon will be required and is a good opportunity for the parents to discuss other health concerns and feeding issues about their baby.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
A simple surgical technique is used to treat the tongue tie as an out-patient procedure. The frenulum is divided under aseptic conditions and with no anaesthetic or stitching required after the procedure. Your baby can be put to the breast immediately after the operation. Not all babies with tongue tie need an operation, as they can be supported by a lactation counsellor or an infant feeding specialist to get their feeding positioning correct.
If this does not work then infant and mother should benefit by having the tongue tie divided.
Your baby can be put to the breast immediately after the operation.
Tongue tie division is a generally safe and effective procedure which helps to protect and support breast feeding. However as with all surgical procedures there are some possible complications which include bleeding, infection and ulcer formation. Very rarely some babies require re-snipping.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire St Anthony's Hospital is a large private hospital close to Sutton and Epsom, on the borders of Surrey and South London, providing very high quality healthcare in a calm and peaceful environment.
801 London Road
Main Switchboard: 020 8337 6691
Self-pay treatment enquiries: 020 8335 4646
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire St Anthony's Hospital.