Lions, duc(ts) and lip-ties…oh my! [The Final Chapter]

So, last time I sat down to write this post, I crashed our computer :/  However, after thinking we lost all of W’s baby photos, we’re up and running again (with most pictures recovered) on a brand new iMac and, boy, is she a beauty.

But, because I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat wondering how this saga ends, I’ll continue the story where I left off last…a trip to the ENT to have W’s lip-tie evaluated…

As luck would have it, a friend of mine (whose little guy was due the day before W was, and born the day after W!) happens to be a otolaryngologist in Philly.  She answered a ton of my questions, told me exactly how the frenulectomy would be conducted if we chose to have it done…and did all that with far more compassion and charisma than the ENT we saw.  Oohhh, doctors…male doctors…young, new male doctors…young, new male doctors without kids…

Nonetheless, the ENT we saw confirmed W had a moderate tie, though there is no official scale.  He also noted that because a lip-tie often has no impact on the child or the mother, he’d only performed one frenulectomy…but the mother was EXTREMELY happy with the outcome.  He also mentioned that most of his lip-tie patients don’t have a gap between their teeth (a permanent gap between the two front teeth is something a lip-tie can cause)…and little W did.  Again, it’s an elective procedure, so aside from stating the above facts, he didn’t say anything to steer us in one direction or the other.  He did say, though, that if we waited to have the frenulectomy when W was older, it would be a more invasive procedure because he’d likely need anesthesia to keep him still.

So, my husband and I discussed our options.

Given my reoccurring clogged ducts we decided to move forward with the procedure.  Best case scenario, we’d prevent some cosmetic dentistry, expressive language delays and have a better go at nursing.  Worst case scenario, well, there just didn’t seem to be one aside from the 2 minutes of discomfort baby W would experience.  However, we felt it best to do that now while he was young enough to forget it.  While we chickened out from getting the procedure done at the consultation (it’s that simple he could have done it right then and there…) we scheduled an appointment for the following week.  I mean, we had swimming lessons the next day…we couldn’t bear to ruin that for him!

The following Wednesday, bright and early, we headed into the ENT’s office and nervously waited for him to get the show on the road.  Honestly, for as simple a procedure as it is, it was pretty extremely emotionally traumatizing for my husband and I to have to hold the little guy down while all this was happening.  The doctor and his nurse assistant swaddled W while I held his feet down and my husband held his arms down.  We’d agreed that my husband would be the one to “watch” and reassure W face-to-face so that we weren’t both upset.  They started with a quick shot of lidocaine and epinephrine to numb the pain and help with bleeding.  They let that take effect and in about 30 seconds they put a clamp on the skin to cut off the blood supply.  In another 30 seconds or so they were ready for the snip…and just like that, with a pair of scissors, it was done.  He then cauterised the would with silver nitrate and it was over.  Sure, it was over in less than two minutes…but it’s quite possibly the hardest thing in the world to hear your child scream and know you are the cause of that pain 😦

Within a minute of the procedure, baby W had calmed down and was nursing peacefully…every once and while pulling off the nipple to fiddle with his still-numb lip.  It was hard to tell whether or not the procedure had impacted his latch just yet, as I didn’t want to flange his lip.  I still haven’t really fiddled with it yet, or tried to inspect it, since it hasn’t been a week yet.  (We head into the doctor’s this Wednesday for our one-week follow-up to make sure all is well, though I’m expecting it will be given what I can see – a super happy little guy!)

The only sign he’d had anything done?  A bit of swelling and traces of black/silver on his upper lip from the silver nitrate…

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For all the time I spent researching, reading and worrying about whether he had a lip-tie and whether or not we should correct it…it was over in an instant.  But, so far, I’m glad we decided to have it done.

Sigh.  Another milestone in the book: his first procedure/trip to the doctors.  And, like most milestones, baby W seemed to be far more fluid, resilient and unphased with the event than we did.  Funny thing with milestones, though, they seem to come one after the other and far too quickly for my liking.

Our latest milestone?  W’s first serious cold and cough and ANOTHER trip to the doctor’s office earlier today.  We had a touch and go night last night with some pretty serious coughing and trouble breathing.  Yet again, my heart was in my chest.  Thankfully the doctor said it’s just the crud and nothing more serious.

So, here’s to more Tylenol and Motrin…a Nose Frida, saline spray, Boogie Wipes, humidifiers and steam baths with eucalyptus.

Snotfully yours,

MomME

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2 thoughts on “Lions, duc(ts) and lip-ties…oh my! [The Final Chapter]

  1. hi, I was wondering where you had the procedure done. I just took my 5 week old daughter to the LC at MMC and she said she was both tongue and upper lip tied. Did you manage to get both procedures done locally? Thanks

    • Hi Emma! That is GREAT that they have identified your daughter’s tongue and lip tie so young 🙂 We went to Dr. Liess at InterMed…and unfortunately, Dr. Liess used silver nitrate to cauterize my son’s lip after he did an in-office procedure (just a little novocaine, a quick snip and then cauterize and be out the door). Dr. Liess didn’t know that the silver nitrate would stain my son’s teeth…and it did. Permanently. They have since agreed to pay for the dental work that we might choose to have done in the future.

      If you went to Dr. Liess now I know he wouldn’t use silver nitrate given what happened to our son, but still, I didn’t love his demeanor before, during or after our procedure and my mommy-gut should have been a sign we should have gone else where.

      You live and you learn, and I’m just thankful the damage was only cosmetic. Tough lesson to learn, though.

      Long and short of what I’ve learned in the aftermath of our procedure is that it is probably best to have it done at a pediatric dentist’s office where they can use a laser. I would just make sure that whomever does the procedure has done LOTS of them…

      Good luck!
      Abbey

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