Ear Center: Postoperative Instructions for Lingual Frenuloplasty (Z-Plasty Lingual Frenuloplasty)

Postoperative Instructions for Lingual Frenuloplasty

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General considerations
Warning Signs
Additional postoperative considerations


Please have your child rest as much as possible during the first day. Light indoor activity is best. For sleeping, elevate your child's head on 2-3 pillows for 3-4 days following the procedure to help decrease swelling. If your child is in daycare, he/she may return the day following the procedure.


If your doctor prescribed medications for your child, please give them as directed. Usually, your child will be placed on an antibiotic for 10 days. Tylenol with Codeine® may be prescribed for older children. Please notify our office if your child should develop a rash or any other reaction to the medication(s).


Due to tissue swelling and mouth discomfort, your child may have little desire to drink for several days. However, fluids are very important to prevent dehydration. You will find that non-acidic juices, soups, popsicles, Jell-O, custard, puddings, and soft or mashed foods taken in small quantities can be swallowed fairly easily. Try to increase your child's fluid and food intake as the discomfort subsides. It is recommended that your child receive 1-1/2 quarts of fluid in a 24-hour period. For older children, foods such as potato chips, popcorn, pizza, and toast should be avoided for at least two weeks.

Children under three years of age, particularly children who do not have teeth, should not be given pieces of hot dogs, peanuts, or grapes. These foods may cause choking and severe respiratory distress, including death.


Your child?s oral discomfort may be relieved by taking Tylenol®. Do not give your child aspirin, aspirin-containing medications, or ibuprofen (Children?s Motrin®, etc.) since they may cause postoperative bleeding. Pain from this procedure usually lasts for 3-5 days as the tissues of the mouth heal rapidly.


Although rare, there is risk of having some bleeding during the first week after having a lingual frenuloplasty. If your child should have any bleeding, remain calm. We recommend quietly placing your child on your lap in a sitting position and leaning forward. For older children, gargling gently with ice water may help. If the bleeding does not stop after a short time (5 minutes), is more than 1 teaspoonful, or if you become worried, please call our office at (336) 273-9932 or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Do not give your child anything to eat or to drink prior to taking them to the hospital as your child may need to be taken to the operating room in order to control the bleeding.


1. If your child's teeth have erupted, you may brush them very gently. Avoid brushing the front lower teeth for two weeks.

2. You will see multiple white or colored sutures along the bottom surface of your child's tongue and the floor of your child's mouth. Please do not attempt to remove the sutures. The sutures will dissolve on their own over a 4-6 week period of time. Each suture has 6 knots to prevent premature loss of the sutures. Some sutures will dissolve more rapidly than others. They will not all dissolve at the same time.

3. Do not give your child any medications that we have not prescribed or recommended.

4. You may notice a faint mouth odor for the first week following the procedure. The odor will resolve and does not require treatment.


If any of the following should occur, please call our office immediately:

  • 1. Bright red bleeding from your child's mouth that lasts more than five minutes.
  • 2. Persistent fever greater than 102 F.
  • 3. Persistent vomiting.
  • 4. Persistent cough.
  • 5. Severe and constant pain not relieved by prescribed pain medication.
  • 6. Rash or unusual side effects from any medications.
  • 7. Tongue swelling or difficulty breathing.


1. Most patients undergoing a lingual frenuloplasty are able to go home on the same day as their operation.

2. The most important thing to remember is to have your child drink as much as possible during the first 3-5 days following the procedure. We are more concerned about how much your child drinks than how much he/she eats.

3. Postoperative bleeding from the operation is rare. If bleeding does occur, please contact our office immediately or take your child to the nearest hospital emergency department.

4. A low-grade fever (less than 102 F) may occur following the procedure. The fever is usually due to not drinking enough liquids. We suggest that you use liquid Tylenol® every 4 hours in order to keep your temperature below 102 F. If your child's fever goes above 102 F, please call our office. Sometimes, a postoperative fever within 24 hours following anesthesia is indicative of a reaction to the anesthesia and needs to be evaluated.

5. Please do not give your child any medications that have not been prescribed by your doctor during the 2-week post-operative period.

8. Your child should experience a gradual decrease in pain during the end of the first week. As the discomfort subsides, your child will begin to eat and drink as they did prior to the operation.

9. Sometimes things occur postoperatively that concern you and are not explained in these instructions. Please feel free to contact our office at any time if you have questions related to the procedure.

Please call our office at 336-273-9932 if you have any questions.

The Ear Center of Greensboro, P.A.
1126 N. Church Street, Suite 201
Greensboro, NC 27401

Click here to download a copy of these instructions in .pdf format.

Last revised September 5, 2011