Frenotomy (a.k.a. frenulotomy or frenulectomy) is the procedure in which the lingual frenulum is cut. It is done when the frenulum seems unusually short or tight (anklyoglossia or “tongue-tie”). In the newborn nursery, frenotomy is indicated when the abnormal frenulum is impairing the infant’s ability to breastfeed.

The procedure involves holding the tongue up towards the roof of the mouth to make the frenulum taut, then cutting through the white, fascia-like tissue along a line parallel with, and fairly close to, the tongue. The cut is made in a single motion in less than a second. Anesthesia is not necessary. The only risk is excessive bleeding. Normally, there is only a drop of blood or less.