A frenectomy is the removal of a frenulum, a small fold of tissue that prevents an organ in the body from moving too far. It can refer to frenula in several places on the human body. It is related to frenuloplasty, a surgical alteration in a frenulum. Done mostly for orthodontic purposes, a frenectomy is either performed inside the middle of upper lip, which is called labial frenectomy, or under the tongue, called lingual frenectomy. Frenectomy is a very common dental procedure that is performed on infants, children, and adults. A similar procedure frenulotomy is where a tight frenulum may be relieved by making an incision in the tight tissue.
In the past, the frenectomy procedure held pride as perhaps being the most popular of soft tissue operations in younger patients. Many labial and lingual frenum (tongue- and lip-ties) were snipped by midwife, family doctor and dental surgeons. The overall awareness and treatment of tongue- and lip-ties especially in breastfeeding infants has increased over recent years. Frenectomies are routinely performed on infants to improve breastfeeding outcomes.