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Practice Clinical Opinion

Posterior tongue tie and lip tie: a lucrative private industry where the evidence is uncertain

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3928 (Published 26 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3928

Rapid Response:

Re: Posterior tongue tie and lip tie: a lucrative private industry where the evidence is uncertain

Dear Editor

I commend the authors for calling division of tongue tie into question once again. As they say, there is only circumstantial evidence that taking a pair of scissors to cut a child, without anaesthesia, improves nipple pain in a third party (the nursing mother). This, in an era when we apply topical anaesthetic for any invasive procedure, seems barbaric in the face of very poor scientific evidence. .

Children, the world over, breast feed with out recourse to cutting a tongue tie and a tongue tie does not affect a child's speech or its ability to put weight on in the short, medium or long term. Therefore, why is the procedure proselytised in the United Kingdom? Division of tongue tie should not be purchased or 'sold'. It is, effectively, an assault on a baby.

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 December 2020
Nigel S G Mercer
Cleft Surgeon
58 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4LF