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J Med Case Rep. 2012 Mar 6;6:77. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-77.

Neonates presenting with severe complications of frenotomy: a case series.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. peaceibo@yahoo.com.au.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is an anatomic variation in which the lingual frenulum is thick, short or tight. It may be asymptomatic, or present with complications like breast feeding difficulties or speech, dental and cosmetic problems. The treatment of this condition, where indicated, is frenotomy. This procedure usually has few or no complications. However, when it is done by untrained personnel, it may lead to life-threatening complications. This paper highlights complications that could arise from improper treatment of ankyloglossia.

CASE PRESENTATION:

Case 1 was a one-day-old male neonate, a Nigerian of Igbo ethnicity, who was admitted with bleeding from the mouth and passage of dark stools after clipping of the frenulum by a traditional birth attendant. He was severely pale and in hypovolemic shock, with a severed frenulum which was bleeding actively. His packed cell volume was 15%. He was resuscitated with intravenous fluids and a blood transfusion. The bleeding was controlled using an adrenaline pack. He also received antibiotics. He was discharged five days later.Case 2 was a three-day-old male neonate, a Nigerian of Ikwerre ethnicity, who was admitted with profuse bleeding from a soft tissue injury under the tongue, after clipping of the frenulum by a community health worker. He was severely pale and lethargic. He was resuscitated with intravenous fluids and a blood transfusion. The bleeding vessel was ligated with repair of the soft tissue. He also received antibiotics and was discharged home one week later.

CONCLUSION:

Treatment of tongue-tie, a benign condition, when done by untrained personnel may result in life-threatening complications. Clinicians should pay more attention to parents' worries about this condition and give adequate counseling or refer them to trained personnel for surgical intervention where clinically indicated.

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