A tongue-tie revision is one of the simplest and most pain-free procedures out there. It often takes as little as a few seconds to perform, and you get to leave the doctor’s office within minutes. The procedure, however, is only one of the first steps in a longer treatment process including IBCLC, bodywork, and aftercare.
For an overview of the entire process, click here for our detailed timeline.
The experience with aftercare varies from child to child, and while some hardly experience any discomfort, aftercare can take its toll many. It might even make you doubt your decision to get the tongue-tie revision in the first place.
This drives many parents to consider prolonging periods between stretches or even outright skipping stretches, especially during nighttime. While this is very common, it is also ill advised. Aftercare is a vital tool in the healing procedure of the tongue-tie and failing to do proper aftercare or not doing aftercare often enough, could lead to setbacks in recovery or even reattachment.
The importance of aftercare
During the revision of the tongue-tie (or any tie inside your mouth), you sever the internal tissue inside the mouth. As the inside of your mouth heals especially fast, without aftercare your revised area would grow back together within a few hours, rendering the entire procedure a waste.
Aftercare prevents the wound inside your mouth from healing back together in a tie but forces the wound to heal separately on the roof and floor of your mouth. The time it takes for the area to heal varies from person to person, but generally 6 weeks is considered the norm.
For a video on how to perform correct aftercare, click here.
The effect of skipping nightly stretches
The suggested frequency for performing aftercare varies from practitioner to practitioner. The most common advice is to perform aftercare every 4 hours for the first 4 weeks, then every 6 hours for an additional two weeks, as the tissue inside the mouth heals up.
Skipping nightly stretches will most likely result in 8 to 12 hours with no aftercare, assuming you performed aftercare just before bed, and immediately after waking up. Letting the tissue inside the mouth heal for this extended period, will result in reattachment. Especially, as tissue tends to heal faster while we sleep. Not full irreversible attachment, but enough for the tissue to attach to the point where you would have to use extended force to tear the tissue free with your finger. This is manageable if it happens once or twice during the healing phase, but do this too often, and the wound will become hard and inflexible leading to symptoms very close to those of the tongue-tie itself.
On some occasions, the reattachment might be too much for you to tear without causing excessive damage, or too much for your heart to bear. In this case, you will experience “real” reattachment. This does not mean that the entire wound has reattached, but that the part that has, can no longer be divided unless you choose to opt for a new procedure. Reattachment is not as common as most people think though, and often what is experienced as reattachment, is merely the healing process of the wound.
For everything you need to know about reattachment, click here.
Aftercare is important, and even more during the night. Remember that it is far better to do perform the treatment as prescribed, IBCLC, bodywork and aftercare included, that having to redo the entire procedure again, or going back to the symptoms that got you started in the journey in the first place. Aftercare can be rough, but it is worth every second when you are through to the other side.
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