|Posted on January 27, 2015 at 5:00 PM|
My daughter, Alaina, is 5 month old today.
At 5 days old, her pediatrician diagnosed her with both an upper lip tie (ULT) and a posterior tongue tie (PTT) and referred us to consult with an ENT. I was so happy to have an obvious cause of all the pain I had been experiencing with nursing, but I was also fairly clueless as to what it all meant as I had not had this experience with my first born. I was worried about how a tie would affect our nursing relationship, so I immediately put in my first call to my lactation consultant, Kathy Koncelik.
She provided me with information about ties, useful resources and tips for nursing and pumping, and told me that she could comeworkwith us after the revision. Kathy suggested that I schedule an appointment to see Dr. Siegel, but we decided to listen to our pediatricianand schedule with an ENT. After seeing an ENT who saw no issue, I was thrilled when a second ENT told me that anything that interferes with nursing is an issue. He revised Alaina's ULT with scissors under general anesthesia at 5 weeks old. I had to stay in the waiting room of the hospital during the procedure. I thought that both her ULT and PTT would be revised, but the doctor decided that because of her great tongue extension we would not have to revise her PTT. Kathy came to visit with us a few days after the revision and informed me that the PTT would need to be revised if I wanted to have success with breastfeeding and if I wanted to avoid future problems with things such as speech. She also told me about a possible connection between ties and migraine headaches. She had so many reasons as to why we should revise. I was overwhelmed and confused, but I was no longer in pain nursing so my husband and I convinced ourselves that the ENT knew best and Alaina's PTT did not need revision.
Things were going great until Alaina was about 2 months old and started vomiting a few times a day. The vomiting got progressively worse and by the time she was 3 months old she was easily vomiting 10 times a day. I love and trust our pediatrician, so when she attributed her reflux to an immature digestive system, I listened. After all, she was gaining weight (born at 9lbs4oz and over 16lbs today!) and she never seemed uncomfortable. But as the weeks went on and I saw no improvement, I began to think that there may be a correlation between her PTT and her reflux. I started researching more about PTT, reading through posts in the Facebook tongue tie support group and reflecting on all of the information that Kathy had provided me with. It was then that I realized that there was more to her reflux than an immature digestive system and I committed to finding the answer. I learned that her tie could be causing an improper latch which could cause her to take in too much air and lead to reflux issues.
One email to Dr. Scott A. Siegel was all it took for me to make the appointment for laser revision. His secretary contacted me shortly after he and I spoke and we were scheduled within two days. I was nervous, but the procedure was over in seconds. I was able to stay in the room the entire time and we were brought into a private room where I was able to nurse Alaina without issue immediately after. She went on a brief nursing strike in the hours after we got home. This was alarming to me since she had nursed so well right after the procedure. That night, I received a phone call from Dr. Siegel to check in on Alaina and he assured me that the nursing strike was normal and not to worry. A short while after speaking with him, she started nursing again and I was thrilled! The next day, a Sunday mind you, I had a little confusion about one thing so I texted Dr Siegel. He got back to me right away. As the worried parent of a little patient, his attention and quality of care is very reassuring. Not many doctors give out their cell phone number and encourage you to text them with any questions. He exceeded our expectations and put my husband and me at ease!
Two days after the procedure, Kathy came to visit us again. I could not thank her enough for all of her help and for the referral to Dr. Siegel. The results were truly astonishing. We are one week post revision today so that means that Alaina would typically have had around 70 vomiting episodes. Not our revised little girl. In one week, she has vomited 3 times and spits up a little bit here and there like a typical baby would do.
I can't even begin to express how happy my husband and I are with the outcome! We want to send a very big thank you to Dr Siegel and want to say that if anyone is struggling to make the decision about revision, stop thinking so hard and just do it! It was the best decision we have made as parents yet! Our only regret is that we didn't listen to Kathy and schedule with Dr. Siegel from the start. The whole experience was honestly amazing and I'm so proud that I'm able to share our story!
-E.S., Mother of 5 month Old Post-Operative Laser Tongue and Lip Tie Patient
|Posted on June 20, 2014 at 12:05 AM|
Infant Diagnosis of Tongue and/or Lip Tie: “Don’t Hesitate” is a mother’s story of how her three day-old’s laser tongue-tie surgery dramatically benefited her daughter’s ability to thrive, while strengthening their breastfeeding relationship. Here’s her story:
“I consider myself to be so fortunate for so many reasons. While breastfeeding my first daughter I learned so much about breastfeeding in general, and heard over and over again about tongue and lip ties. When I gave birth to my daughter, my midwife immediately pointed out her tongue tie. Within 24 hours I knew something was really wrong and was in quite a bit of pain. I was encouraged by my midwife to get it released as soon as possible, and she gave me Dr. Siegel's number.
I hated the idea of doing anything to my newborn daughter that would cause her pain, but I knew that if it wasn't addressed it could lead to milk transfer issues, weight loss, and trauma to myself that could lead to infection, thrush, and the end of our breastfeeding relationship. I knew it was the kind of thing that was best acted upon immediately. I asked a local mothering group if anyone had heard of/used Dr. Siegel, and within five minutes, story after story of how wonderful he was and how life changing the revision was popped up. I contacted Dr. Siegel, and he bent over backwards to meet with me that very day.
The procedure itself took less than 2 minutes. My three day-old daughter cried a bit, but honestly no harder than if I were changing a diaper or getting her dressed. He was so gentle, and considerate of my feelings and worries as well as her comfort. I nursed her immediately after the procedure, and that stopped her crying. By the time we got back home she was no longer numb and nursed perfectly (and painlessly for me) for the first time in her life. She never showed any discomfort in the days to follow.
I followed Dr. Siegel's instructions and rubbed below her tongue to ensure that it would heal properly, and upon our follow up appointment everything was perfect. I caught it so early, so she was fixed by the time my milk really came in. She never lost any weight, and was up half a pound by one week old, and gained over 3 pounds in the following four weeks. Since the procedure, I haven't experienced any pain at all while nursing. I took care of this before my own body was damaged, so I never had to struggle through frequent newborn nursing sessions while healing. If you are reading this testimonial, you must feel that something might be wrong.
Please don't hesitate. Dr. Siegel is wonderful, the difference is night and day, and it is instantaneous. You will never regret it!"
-J.M., Mother of Three Day Old Post-Operative Laser Tongue-Tie Patient
|Posted on March 29, 2014 at 8:00 AM|
"Tongue Tie & Newborns: Ruby's Story" details the challenging journey from birth through aftercare of my three week old, breastfed tongue tie patient, written by her mother. -Dr. Scott Siegel
My daughter Ruby was born full term on February 4, 2013. I knew I wanted to breastfeed her, though my mommy friends prepared me that breastfeeding is not a walk in the park. I tried nursing her right away the best I could. Ruby quickly lost 9% of her birthweight in the hospital, so the lactation consultant specialist was sent in to improve my latch. I got some great tips and Ruby began to put weight back on. Unfortunately, my nipples were already incredibly sore. In fact, by the time we were discharged Ruby's cheeks and chin were red and chapped from chaffing against my cut up nipples.
At Ruby's first few pediatrician appointments she gained weight, however I continued to be in so much pain. When Ruby would latch on, my toes would curl, my breath would be knocked out of me, and my body would tense. I would feel her tongue flicking against my nipple, I'd hear clicking, and I'd see her mouth slowly slide off. I followed all my mommy friends' advice. I used lots of lanolin and got frozen gel pads, but nothing really helped much. Not being able to take it, I started calling lactation specialists and arranged for an appointment with one.
At this point Ruby was two weeks old. We worked on a few different latches. Then, upon looking in Ruby's mouth, she said, "tongue tie." She explained that Ruby couldn't get a good latch and my nipples were broken down because Ruby's frenulum was too tight, preventing her from having the freedom to stick her tongue out far enough and to lift her tongue up to the roof of her mouth. She referred me to Dr. Scott Siegel for an evaluation. I felt so upset and confused after she left. My husband and I didn't want to hear that our peanut of a newborn needed a procedure. We called Ruby's pediatrician and were left even more confused because he said that she didn't need an evaluation and that frenulums stretch with time.
In the meantime, I googled tongue ties and Dr. Siegel and spoke with my mom who's a speech pathologist. My mom suggested going for the evaluation because if there was a tongue tie, it could possibly affect speech and oral development. I decided to email Dr. Siegel, venting my confusion about the conflicting opinions of the pediatrician and lactation counselor. Dr. Siegel wrote me back right away and he provided his work and cell phone numbers. When my husband and I called Dr. Siegel, he was so kind. He patiently answered all our questions. He wasn't pushy in the least. He was extremely empathetic and understanding about our confusion and worry. We continued to agonize over what to do, so I invited one more lactation specialist over. After being told again that Ruby has a tongue tie, we made an evaluation appointment with Dr. Siegel.
Ruby was three weeks old when we met Dr. Siegel. He took us right away. Just like on the phone, he was kind, gentle and understanding. He let me hold Ruby while he looked in her mouth. He was very sweet, making me feel comfortable and in the right hands. Dr. Siegel confirmed that there was a tongue tie, a posterior one. He again explained to us how the laser procedure worked and he answered all our questions. I felt selfish and awful that I was going to put my baby through a procedure just to ease my pain. But the truth was I wouldn't have been able to continue nursing. I had reoccurring milk blisters. Also, if we didn't do anything we risked Ruby having future struggles. We left to think about it. Dr. Siegel invited us to call or text with any more questions.
As upset as we were, we decided to proceed. Dr. Siegel saw us the next day. Ruby was now in her third week of life. During the procedure, Ruby stayed in her carseat and I got to sit on the chair with her. I looked away and cried as Dr. Siegel performed the laser procedure, but the whole time I heard Dr. Siegel's calm voice saying, it's okay, you're doing great, almost done. As soon as it was over Dr. Siegel said, "You can hold your baby and reassured us that it went great. His assistant handed me tissues and then they gave us space to try and nurse.
Before leaving, Dr. Siegel gave me some instructions and said again to call or text. Since I had been quite shaken up, I couldn't process the instructions, so I did text Dr. Siegel that afternoon. In fact, I texted him a lot over the next 48 hours with questions and concerns. Each time he replied with encouragement and understanding. It took Ruby about 36 hours to nurse again and during that time I agonized and second guessed my decision. It helped so much to hear Dr. Siegel say to be patient and hang in there. When Ruby did once again latch on I was so relieved and happy. Dr. Siegel made sure to tell me to keep in touch over the weekend to let him know how Ruby was doing.
Over the next week, Ruby's latch really improved and my prior nipple damage healed. Ruby was able to open her mouth wider and to maintain a deep latch! I now breastfeed without any pain. I now know we made the right decision as parents to correct our daughter's tongue tie. We are so grateful to Dr. Siegel for all his kindness and support through our first really challenging time as parents. The information provided here is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
|Posted on March 29, 2014 at 7:20 AM|
Lily is a patient who had Posterior Laser Tongue Tie Surgery at two months old. Both parents stayed in the surgical suite with her throughout the procedure.
Hi Dr. Siegel,
Thank you for your kindness.
I did dig up a few photos that show the incredible progress of Lily, which took a while. She was quite skinny relatively for about 4-5 months, but then really got the hang of breastfeeding and is now feisty and tall. No comparison to how we started out.
At 2 months it was still a struggle to gain weight - but at that time it improved significantly. It is such a negative spiral- the baby does not suckle correctly, the mother does not produce the needed milk due to a perceived lack of demand and so forth. The lactation consultant said you did an excellent job, too.
Thank you so much again,
-K. H., Lily's Father
**Photo- Holidays 2013 - a very feisty and well-nourished Lily 6.5 months old!