Tongue-tie Repair: Z-Plasty Vs Simple Release

Document Type: Original


1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, 22 Bahman Hospital, Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Clinical Fellow, Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

3 Family physician, 22 Bahman Hospital, Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.


Ankyloglossia is a congenital anomaly in which the lingual frenulum is unusually short and thick, thus decreasing tongue mobility. In the context of the newborn or young infant it is a subject of ongoing controversy within and between medical specialties. The controversy involves not only the definition but also the management of this anomaly. A tight lingual frenulum is considered a minor malformation by some investigators. Usual treatments for ankyloglossia include speech therapy, as well as simple frenulotomy and frenuloplasty. The aim of this study was to compare the latter two methods with respect to postoperative results and complications.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 50 patients referred for surgical care were randomly assigned into two groups: simple release (frenulotomy ) or Z-plasty (frenuloplasty), and underwent a pre-surgical assessment. After 3 months, patients were followed with a scheduled interview and questionnaire comparing the outcomes of the two methods. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 18.
Surgery had a significant effect on all variables measured in our study (P<0.05). Z-plasty had a greater effect on articulation, breast pain, tongue movement and parent satisfaction than simple release (P<0.05). Z-plasty and simple release had the same effect on breast feeding, latching, and sucking.
Z-plasty is the preferred surgical method to address tongue-tie due to a greater improvement in mother’s breast pain, pronunciation and speech, tongue movement, and parental satisfaction.


Main Subjects

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