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Hall and Renfrew rightly describe the literature with relation to ankyloglossia as containing “little high quality objective evidence”; they also describe the difficulties in study methodology in this setting with particular reference to concealing the diagnosis from parents in control studies.1 With regards to intervention, they note that “…frenulotomy in the newborn is a low risk minor procedure, performed without anaesthetic” and that “…significant venous bleeding could occur if technique is not meticulous but we found no reports of serious adverse events”.
Ankyloglossia intervention in the outpatient setting has been performed for over 20 years in Edinburgh without anaesthetic. We recently reviewed 28 months of patients (February 2002–June 2004) who underwent the procedure to assess the complication and success rates. We fully acknowledge that our study was neither controlled nor had objective measures of outcome; nevertheless, it is the only study we know of to specifically investigate the safety of outpatient intervention in this country.
Patients were identified from outpatient correspondence to general practitioners …