Tongue-Tied…Surgery!

I think we’ve mentioned before that Benjamin was born a bit tongue-tied. The bit of tissue that connects his tongue to the bottom of his mouth (called the frenulum, and we all have this), is attached much too close to the tip of his tongue; it prevents him from sticking his tongue out all the way, and could be impacting his ability to speak properly.

In some babies, it not only can cause speech issues, but may affect eating. Benjamin never has had any problems eating or nursing, so it’s not that bad for him, but his tongue is still rather tightly bound to the bottom of his mouth, and you can see his poor little forked tongue when he tries to stick it all the way out.

In less than a week, on April 19th, his tongue will finally be free. After discussions with his pediatrician, we’ve scheduled Benjamin for a frenulectomy to correct the problem. As it turns out, he’s old enough now that they have to actually knock him out with a general anesthetic/laughing gas, and then snip the thing. The ENT (ears-nose-throat) doctor doing the procedure has told us Benjamin will also get a stitch or two to help prevent reattachment of the tissue and help maintain the freedom he’ll have.

So that’s great news. As endearing and cute as his little forked tongue is, it will be nice to have this finally remedied.

The only thing that’s, well, obscene about this is how much the doctors/etc are charging. By the time we’ve had our initial visit, the surgery itself and all the related trimmings (laughing gas, etc.), and the follow-up visit, the total charges (before insurance) will exceed approximately $1500. For what is basically a simple half-second snip with a pair of scissors of some tissue that Ben won’t even feel being cut due to a lack of nerve endings in the area…

It seems a bit, umm… excessive, really.

Sure, we get that he needs to be knocked out so they can actually do the work, but wow. The initial consult to get the ‘surgery’ set up was billed at (pre-insurance, again) $275. The ENT did–literally–nothing! Some racket they’ve got goin’ on there, for sure…

Anyway, wish our little guy well for his first-ever surgery!

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