Basically no one knew that dd had an issue wrt the tongue ties until she was 2. She struggled from birth with a great many things and was tube fed. So much was going on that no one was looking at mechanical issues with her tongue/lips. She was FTT, had extreme reflux, digestive problems, dx autistic in infancy, eventually dx with celiac disease, multiple food allergies, and there are some possible genetic issues that are being looked at now. Her lungs have never expanded fully and she has a chronic cough that has been dx as a tic. Before looking at connective tissue disorders and other genetic issues we decided to talk to Dr. Kotlow to see what he thought. Everyone agreed that it was silly to go forward with other tests when we knew that she definitely had the tie. That needed to be ruled out as a maintaining cause first.
Ds2 was dx with a tongue tie at birth. He was clipped right away. He also had some strange breathing issues, but none that required intervention. I just kept looking at him and telling people he was breathing "backwards." His chest expanded on the exhale and contracted on the inhale. He also was constipated at an EBF infant though all allergens were eliminated. Finally he was clipped again a few months later. That clipping changed his breathing that day. It also helped normalize his stooling patterns-but not to the point that I wanted. A month or two later Dr. Coryllos came to do the in service on ankyloglossia. I attended and had dh bring ds2 after the lecture was over. She assessed him and while he still had a tie it was a complicated one.
Surgically, what's important to understand is that they can only make one cut. After that blood clouds the field and they have to stop. Now, they may not be done, but they can't do more that day. In the next week a cord may pop forward which then needs to be clipped. Again, they get one snip before the blood halts the procedure. I have seen babies go for 3 plus clippings and still not be done. With ds2, he required a third, but it would have been a removal of tissue, not just a snip. It would have been more involved as he was around 6 months at that point. Laser wasn't an option because no one around here knew of anyone who was doing it.
Long story short-fast forward a few years. Dd is still having minor issues with her lungs, post nasal drip, chronic cough and she doesn't have restful sleep-though she sleeps through the night. Ds2 had speech issues. Both had minor digestive stuff left over after a lot of healing. Both have high palates because their tongues were too anchored to draw them down and spread them. While their teeth are quite straight, they're crowded. Both have a gap between their top two teeth. Both have the small "v" in their bottom two front teeth.
At 6 and 4 I started hearing about Kotlow from various symposiums. Most people around here see a doc for surgical modification as he's the one guy that was trained to do them, and does them regularly. Kotlow was presenting information very differently. He goes deep with the laser. It only takes one time and he gets everything. Since it's a laser it cauterizes as it modifies and the results are astonishing. We had one 7 year old boy go up whom speech therapy hadn't helped and he came back speaking clearly THAT DAY. That's what convinced me. I'd seen lots of babies and toddlers go up...but results that good for an older kid were mind boggling. His digestion improved immediately too. I was able to talk to Dr. Kotlow and chose to head up with my kids.
It was difficult. They both had what he considered complicated cases. However he worked on both of them. Normally he just does topical novacaine, but they required more as their maxillary frenulums both went back into their palates. On the ride home (took a few hours) we noticed a change. Things were different right away in both speech and breathing. Dd's doctor noted that her connective tissue had freed up (this was what we were hoping for) and her lungs expanded more. She is no longer hypertonic. Her cough has reduced by 65% or so and is no longer explosive. She's sleeping much more soundly. Ds's speech is very different. It's really hard to believe that one simple procedure could change that much.
We managed the discomfort very easily with homeopathy, cell salts and some herbs. There were no pain meds required after the procedure. The only times they complained were first thing in the morning on days 2 and 3. That was just after sleeping all night and not having the remedies-wouldn't have been any different with painkillers. They were fine within 15 minutes of taking the remedies. There was follow up care, and exercises required so that the scar tissue didn't form. They were happy to do them.
That's it in a nutshell. LOL. Feel free to ask any questions. Sorry if it's scattered...my kids are now home and feeling rowdy. It's hard to think in chaos!