There are so many reason we love having a wonderful, modern laser in our office we can’t even get them all into one blog, so we decided to begin at the beginning. By now most of us agree on the health and bonding benefits of breast feeding versus bottle feeding. The thinking in the 1950’s that bottles were the way to go has long since been tossed out the window in favor of the beautiful experience a mother has feeding her child. The problem comes in, however, when the baby can’t latch onto the breast and cannot successfully breast feed. As we know, good mothers will go to any and all lengths to help their babies, even if they hurt themselves in the process. While trying to get some babies to latch on can be painful, it can also make the new mom feel like a failure when she can’t care for her child as nature intended. In many, many cases we can help fix this problem with our laser. Most often the issue is the child has a tongue-tie or lip-tie that’s preventing them from latching on to the breast.
In babies with tongue-tie, the frenum—the strip of tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth—is too short, limiting the babies’ ability to move their tongues. Recent studies suggest that up to 10 percent of newborns are born with this condition. Research at the University of Cincinnati, USA, found that around 16 percent of babies experiencing difficulty with breastfeeding had a tongue tie. Another study at Southampton General Hospital, UK, found that 10 percent of babies had a tongue tie.
In a similar fashion, a lip-tie restricts the movement of the upper lip. Lactation specialists say that tongue-tie, lip-tie, or both can make breast-feeding anywhere from difficult to impossible. Because the baby cannot latch onto the breast properly, mom has terribly sore nipples, long start and go feeding sessions, and decreased milk production. The baby is also getting lots of air into his tummy trying to get milk and colicky babies are common with this condition.
The treatment that Dr. Lawrence can perform with our wonderful laser is called a frenectomy, the snipping of the frenum to free the tongue and/or upper lip.
Frenectomies have become a good sized part of our practice and are making many moms extremely happy! Dr. Lawrence uses a laser, which removes layers of tissue by vaporizing the water within the cells. The procedure causes minimal bleeding (usually none), no sutures and a low risk of infection, because the laser essentially creates its own bandage on the removal area. We don’t even need to use an anesthetic and in just a couple of minutes, it’s over. Happy mom, happy baby and happy doctor and staff that we can provide this service to our very youngest patients.