Tongue-Tie and Lip-Tie Brisbane Clinic since 1993

When it works, breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for you and your baby, but at times can be hard and the reasons for this are varied. Tongue tie is only one potential reason why mothers experience difficulties and in many cases is not the only reason.

Let us help you, call or email our friendly team to book a consultation today.

Upper Lip Tie

Posterior Tongue Tie

Tongue Tie

Tongue tie is a topic that is very controversial. There are many differing opinions on the grading, treatment and management of these, even the experts show no consensus on many of these aspects.

We do know that:

It effects between 4-10% of babies
50% of babies with a structural tongue tie or structural lip tie have no difficulty feeding.

Some lip and tongue ties go on to have no problems in terms of speech or dental concerns. We often cannot fully predict which ties will go on to cause long term problems, although there are some characteristics which increase the risk of further problems.

There seems to be no difference in healing rate of laser versus scissors frenotomy. Diagnosis of tongue tie is about function. Therefore the best person to help you with your breastfeeding is your midwife or ideally a board certified lactation consultant and we recommend that you have been reviewed by these professionals before seeing us to ensure and other concerns that are more easily solved are first dealt with.

We ask you to complete our tongue tie questionnaire prior to your appointment so that we can get a sense of how your baby’s tongue is functioning and the problems you are having. We will discuss this with you at the time of consultation and also complete a thorough examination of your baby’s mouth to make a structural and functional assessment of your baby’s tongue.

Based on our findings we will advise you whether we believe that a tie is present and whether it seems to be the cause of your symptoms. Due to the multi­ factorial causes of feeding problems, we can never give a 100% guarantee that this will be the sole solution to your baby’s issues, We will explain to you the process of how we divide the ties and the risks of the procedure.

Simple scissor frenotomy has a low risk for your baby.

The main risks include:

  • Bleeding – This is usually very minor and settles within a few minutes of the procedure when you feed your baby. We will ensure that this has stopped prior to you leaving the clinic. If for some reason, bleeding recurs, please feed your baby. If this does not stop the bleeding, apply pressure with a clean gauze or tissue. If this does not settle things quickly and the bleeding is significant, continue to apply pressure and phone us immediately.
  • Readhesion / residual tissue / scarring – This can be minimized by performing special exercises post procedure but can still occur despite all efforts. As the site heals it sometimes can scar and contract. If this does occur and feeding continues to be adequate, there is no need for further release. If your feeding does become affected, a second release may be needed.
  • Damage to other structures in the mouth, including but not limited to the tongue, salivary glands and lingual nerve. The risk of this is very low.
  • Infection – Mouths heal really well so again the risk is low.
  • Discomfort – This should be minimal. Mouth wounds heal very quickly and there should be no need for any pain relief after the procedure other than feeding your baby.

Feeding your baby

Please do not feed your baby for 2 hours prior to your appointment. The reasons for this are to reduce the risk of your baby vomiting and inhaling milk into its lungs during the procedure, sucking helps stop any bleeding that may be present, feeding comforts your baby and gives you a chance to see if it feels different (this may take a few days – particularly if your baby is a bit older).

During the procedure

We have a firm policy that parents are not present in the treatment room during the procedure. We will get your baby back to you as quickly as we can afterwards but insist that only staff are present at the procedure itself.

If we divide the ties, we will get you to feed your baby straight afterwards.

Follow up

We always suggest that you return to your midwife, lactation consultant or child health nurse in the days after the procedure as babies sometimes prefer different feeding positions once their ties have been released. All mouths and ties are different and we cannot guarantee that simply dividing a tie will result in a benefit in feeding.

These professionals are also well placed to assess whether further division may be necessary – in which case we are happy to see you again – preferably 2-3 weeks after the initial division.

We don’t profess to be the sole answer to your breastfeeding problems, We are just one piece of the puzzle and with your patience and persistence, our aim is to assist you to feed your baby as only you can.

Russell Medical Centre is a Brisbane based clinic dedicated to providing professional and caring tongue and lip-tie release service resulting in successful outcomes for both breast and bottle feeding mums.

Our technique, using scissor release, has evolved over 25 years and is effective for both anterior and posterior tongue-tie as well as lip-tie. Tongue-tie and lip-tie procedures are performed Tuesday to Friday at our Kessels Road clinic and are done in one single appointment (consultation first, then procedure).

Please call Russell Medical Centre on (07) 3349 6444 to make a booking.

Symptoms of tongue-tie and lip-tie

  • Difficulty feeding and attaching
  • Chomping on nipple
  • Not gaining weight
  • Nipple trauma
  • Tiring rapidly
  • Slow feeding
  • Gulping air/Clicking sound
  • Not satisfied for long
  • Bloated with wind
  • Reduction of milk supply
  • Mastitis

Potential symptoms of tongue-tie and lip-tie

  • Speech problem
  • Oral hygiene
  • Problems with solids
  • Digestive problems
  • Procedure
  • Baby’s head held gently and stabilised
  • Stabilise and elevate tongue/lip
  • Clip centre of frenulum
  • Infant can feed immediately
  • Your baby is brought back to you straight after the procedures to be fed and settled.

Immediate benefits

  • Better attaching and sucking
  • Shorter feeding times
  • Satisfied for longer
  • Less painful for mum
  • Future Benefits
  • Our doctors at Russell Medical Centre are committed to providing factual information on which parents can base on informed decision.
  • Better tongue movement
  • Better with solids
  • Less speech impediments
  • Less dental problems
  • Less medical problems (indigestion, snoring and sleep apnea)