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Post Frenotomy Massage for Ankyloglossia in Infants—Does It Improve Breastfeeding and Reduce Recurrence?

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Frenotomy is performed in breast fed infants who experience difficulty in latching after failed conservative management for ankyloglossia or tongue-tie. Though parents sometimes enquire about massage after frenotomy, neither published evidence nor clinical consensus supports this. The aim of our study was to assess if there was significant difference in breast feeding or recurrence rate between those infants who had post frenotomy massage and those who did not.


A retrospective study was conducted in a tertiary Children’s hospital from January 2018 to December 2018. The tongue-tie service consisted of five pediatric surgical consultants, three of whom routinely advice post frenotomy massage. As a result, we had two groups to compare -massage and non-massage group. Total sample size (n = 599) consisted of those who were advised massage (n = 282) and those who were not advised massage (n = 317).


Overall recurrence rate was 4/599 (0.66%) and this did not achieve statistical significance between the two groups. Breast feeding rates were also similar in both the groups. However, it is interesting to note that only 43.5% of those advised massage adhered to the massage regimen.


Improvement in breast feeding and recurrence after frenotomy were similar between massage and non-massage groups. This confirms the lack of any additional benefit of post frenotomy massage. This study assists clinicians with decision making not to advise massage as it is unlikely to benefit infants with tongue-tie.

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Massage Group


Non-massage Group


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The authors would like to thank Dr Mohammed Mutalib for his advice on revision of the manuscript.


The authors declare that there are no sources of funding.

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Authors and Affiliations



Study conception and design: KPB, TD, LK and MU, Data acquisition: KPB and TD, Data Analysis and data interpretation: KPB and MU, Drafting of the manuscript: KPB, TD and MU, Critical revision: KPB, TD, LK and MU.

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Correspondence to Kailas P. Bhandarkar.

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The authors have no competing interests to declare.

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The study received approval from the institutional review board.

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Bhandarkar, K.P., Dar, T., Karia, L. et al. Post Frenotomy Massage for Ankyloglossia in Infants—Does It Improve Breastfeeding and Reduce Recurrence?. Matern Child Health J 26, 1727–1731 (2022).

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