METHODS: An online survey in English, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish was disseminated between May and November 2016 via 27 international professional bodies to >30 clinical professions chosen a priori to represent occupations involved in the management of neonatal ankyloglossia.
RESULTS: A total of 1721 responses came from nursing (51%), medical (40%), dental (6%) and allied health (4%) clinicians. Nurses (40%) and allied health (34%) professionals were more likely than doctors (8%) to consider ankyloglossia as important for lactation problems, as were western (83%) compared to Asian (52%) clinicians. Referrals to clinicians for ankyloglossia management originated mainly from parents (38%). Interprofessional referrals were not clearly defined. Frenectomies were most likely to be performed by surgeons (65%) and dentists (35%), who were also less likely to be involved in lactation support. Clinicians performing frenectomies were more likely to consider analgesia as important compared to those not performing frenectomies.
CONCLUSION: The diagnosis and treatment of ankyloglossia vary considerably around the world and between professions. Efforts to standardise management are required.