There is a decided lack of research into lip tie. In fact, there is no absolute data available. The research that is available hasn't looked into the contribution of lip tie over and above that of tongue tie.
Facts About Lip Tie:
- The Lip frenulum is nearly universal (93% of the population has one)
- Frenulum height tends to reduce over time as gum height increases
- The role of the lip in feeding is to maintain a seal around the breast or teat
- If lip can flange well, division unlikely to be necessary.
- If there is significant restriction of lip elevation then division may be warranted.
What To Look For In Lip Tie
Be aware of the baby who is turning the lip in whilst feeding in order to use the lip in a compressive style, along with the gums, in order to feed. They probably have a tongue tie.
What Does The Procedure Involve?
We do everything we can to make sure the procedure is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Our laser room is baby friendly, with soft colours and playful decorations. We play soothing white noise to help your baby relax. Your baby will be examined and the procedure discussed with you. If you are happy to proceed, local anaesthetic gel is applied to the lip tie. Your baby will then be brought to the laser room weighed, swaddled and safety goggles applied. Division will usually take 15 to 30 seconds and will be divided at the same time as a tongue tie if this required. Your baby is then immediately unwrapped and returned to you, for a cuddle or a feed - whichever they prefer. Older babies are distracted with appropriate toys. You will have the comfort and privacy of your own room post-procedure. Once they have fed and we have gone through the aftercare you will be discharged home.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Nearly all babies will cry following the procedure. This typically lasts for less than a minute.
For most infants the procedure is comparable to a blood test or vaccination. There is little to no bleeding with laser division. If there is a family history of bleeding problems or your baby did not receive Vitamin K at birth it would be important to mention this prior to the procedure.