Authors: Khan U, MacPherson J, Bezuhly M, Hong P
Title: Comparison of Frenotomy Techniques for the Treatment of Ankyloglossia in Children: A Systematic Review
Source: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 2020 163(3): 428-443
Year: 2020
Research Design: Systematic Review

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of conventional (CF), laser (LF), and Z-plasty (ZF) frenotomies for the treatment of ankyloglossia in the pediatric population. Data Sources: A comprehensive search of PUBMED, EMBASE, and COCHRANE databases was performed. Review Methods: Relevant articles were independently assessed by 2 reviewers according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Result(s): Thirty-five articles assessing CF (27 articles), LF (4 articles), ZF (3 articles), and/or rhomboid plasty frenotomy (1 article) were included. A high level of outcome heterogeneity prevented pooling of data. All 7 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were of low quality. Both CF (5 articles with 589 patients) and LF (2 articles with 78 patients) were independently shown to reduce maternal nipple pain on a visual analog or numeric rating scale. There were reports of improvement with breastfeeding outcomes as assessed on validated assessment tools for 88% (7/8) of CF articles (588 patients) and 2 LF articles (78 patients). ZF improved breastfeeding outcomes on subjective maternal reports (1 article with 18 infants) only. One RCT with a high risk of bias concluded greater speech articulation improvements with ZF compared to CF. Only minor adverse events were reported for all frenotomy techniques. Conclusion(s): Current literature does not demonstrate a clear advantage for one frenotomy technique when managing children with ankyloglossia. Recommendations for future research are provided to overcome the methodological shortcomings in the literature. We conclude that all frenotomy techniques are safe and effective for treating symptomatic ankyloglossia.

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