A frenectomy is a surgical procedure done under local anesthetic to remove restrictive tissue in the attachment under the tongue, and/or on the inside of the lips. It is performed using either a laser or scissors (or a combination of both). A frenuloplasty is the same procedure as a frenectomy but with the addition of sutures to aid in wound healing.
What is a frenectomy/frenuloplasty?
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure done under local anesthetic to remove restrictive tissue in the attachment under the tongue, and/or on the inside of the lips. It is performed using either a laser or scissors (or a combination of both). A frenuloplasty is the same procedure as a frenectomy but with the addition of sutures to aid in wound healing. t.
Why is this procedure done?
If a patient is deemed to have limited tongue mobility that cannot be fully alleviated with myofunctional therapy, then a frenuloplasty is recommended. This will enable the patient to obtain proper tongue posture and movement which is essential for correct nasal breathing, swallowing mechanics, jaw growth and function, and airway development.
Why does myofunctional therapy need to be started before the procedure?
Myofunctional therapy helps train the tongue (and other facial muscles) how to function optimally. If a frenuloplasty is performed without prior myofunctional therapy, then the tongue is free but doesn’t “know” where to go and the results from the procedure will not be as reliable or beneficial.
When is the procedure performed?
Oftentimes, a patient needs to have palatal expansion before a frenuloplasty can be performed. The doctors will work closely together to determine optimal timing for the procedure in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the procedure there will be some discomfort and swelling which can be managed mainly with OTC Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Typically, the first few days are the most uncomfortable and the patient will take it easy, especially if sutures are placed. If no sutures are placed, post-operative stretches will begin immediately. If sutures are placed, the patient will resume stretches around day 3. After a couple of weeks, it is normal for the tissue to tighten up a bit and for mobility to seem somewhat restricted again. This is part of the normal healing process and should improve after a few months. The patient will resume myofunctional therapy post-operatively to optimize function and results.
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