Complications Associated with Tongue-Tie SurgeryDecember 9, 2019
Tongue-tie is a condition in which a baby’s tongue remains attached to the bottom of their mouth due to a tissue that ties the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The condition is not serious, but it can affect a baby’s ability to nurse, and can cause speech issues as the child gets older. A simple procedure, known as a frenotomy, involves clipping the lingual frenulum, which releases the tongue. The procedure does not usually require anesthesia, since there are few nerve endings and blood vessels in the frenulum, and there is very little bleeding. However, like any surgery, a frenotomy is not risk-free, and parents should understand the possible complications associated with the procedure.
Tongue-tie is a common condition that affects close to five percent of all newborns. Boys are three times more likely to have the condition than girls, and it tends to run in families. Because the procedure is simple, there is an assumption that there are no complications associated with a frenotomy. However, according an associate professor at the New Zealand Pediatric Surveillance Unit, there are downsides to the procedure. Associates found that babies experienced a range of complications following a frenotomy, including breathing problems, pain, weight loss, and feeding issues. Any type of surgery comes with certain risks, despite how routine or simple it may be.
First Study to Investigate Complications of Tongue-Tie Surgery
The study conducted is the first international study to look at tongue-tie procedures and their potential complications. They examined patients who had frenotomies over a two-year period, ending in July 2018. There were 23 reported complications in infants under the age of one, from 17 pediatricians across New Zealand. The following are the most common complications that doctors reported:
- Poor feeding: 44 percent
- Respiratory events: 25 percent
- Bleeding: 19 percent
- Weight loss: 19 percent
Researchers also found that infants may be undergoing the procedure more often than is necessary. According to Wheeler, up to 20 percent of infants in New Zealand are having the procedure done, where only three percent benefit from it. They also found that health care providers may be too quick to blame poor feeding issues on tongue-tie issues, instead of looking into other issues that may cause problems with nursing, including certain underlying medical conditions. Respiratory complications, such as sleep apnea, have also been found in babies who had frenotomies. If a community setting is not equipped to handle these complications, it can put the baby’s health at risk.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Tongue-Tie Complications
If your child experienced complications from a procedure to correct tongue-tie, contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will work closely with you to determine whether your health care professional was negligent in any way and ensure that you receive the maximum financial settlement you deserve. We will not stop fighting for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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