A vital new clinic for some of West Norfolk’s youngest residents has reopened.
The Frenulotomy or Tongue-Tie Clinic is now operating again at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, with weekly sessions for local families.
Terri Dennington, the hospital’s infant feeding co-ordinator and tongue-tie practitioner, said: “I’m really pleased we can once again offer the Frenulotomy Clinic for babies affected by tongue-tie here at QEH. This is an important service for new parents where tongue tie sometimes affects how baby feeds. I must stress that some babies who have tongue-tie manage to feed very successfully. However, some babies following a tongue-tie assessment, may benefit from a procedure to release the restriction to enable the baby to feed more effectively.”
Tongue-tie is a condition which affects approximately 1 in 10 babies of those four may need frenulotomy. Most of us have a lingual frenulum so the presence of a visible or palpable lingual frenulum is normal anatomy.
Some lingual frenulums may be short, tight, and attached close to the tip of the tongue and/or on the gum and cause restrictions in tongue movement and function. These restrictions may then cause feeding difficulties by breast or bottle.
Terri continued “Since April 2022 we did not have a qualified practitioner to undertake the clinic. We were therefore referring families to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and James Paget University Hospitals who have this service in place. My team have been working hard to reinstate the service since this time and it’s great to be back up and running to support our local families.”
Baby Orla Chapman was the first baby to visit the clinic and have the procedure when she was just over a week old.
Her mum Sarah explained: “It was great to be able to take Orla to our local hospital for this procedure. As this was a new service, we had virtually no wait time which was great, and she managed to have the procedure when she was just a few days old. Feeding is now pain free and Orla reacted really well and didn’t seem bothered at all. We all left clinic feeling happy!”