How Much Does Tongue Splitting Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

Tongue splitting. also referred to as forking the tongue, is the process of splitting an individual’s tongue into two pieces, creating a forked look.  It can be cut just at the tip of the tongue or as far back as where the tongue meets the base of the mouth.

This procedure makes the tongue look like that of a lizard or a snake.

How much does splitting your tongue cost?

The cost of splitting your tongue will depend on the surgeon you choose, where you have the procedure performed and where you live.  On average, the costs, when everything is said and done, can be anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.  Unfortunately, since this is considered a cosmetic procedure, no insurance company will cover it.

At InfoPlasticSurgery.com, the average cost of the tongue splitting procedure performed by a trained professional can range anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500.

Splitting your tongue overview

Basically, there are three ways to split the tongue.  The first involves a surgical procedure where a board-certified surgeon uses a local or general anesthesia and then splits the tongue down the middle using a cautery, knife or laser.  The surgeon then sutures each of the exposed sides of the tongue.  After the procedure, which will usually take 15 minutes, the patient will be prescribed with pain medications to help ease the discomfort.  The recovery period is usually within two weeks.

The second way that tongue splitting is done is for those who already have a healed tongue piercing and want to have their tongue bifurcated.  The procedure is less sophisticated but takes a lot of time.  Called the tie-off method, this procedure involves running a dental floss or sutures through the piercing and then binding it tighter and tighter until the tongue splits.  This can take time and is usually painful, depending on how tight you prefer the thread to be.

The third method of tongue splitting is called scalping.  The bloodiest way to perform tongue splitting, it entails cutting the tongue with the use of a blade and then cauterizing it while it is being split.

The procedures, regardless of which method a surgeon uses, will be done at either an outpatient center or a hospital.

What are the extra costs?

Aftercare items are usually needed during the healing process.  Following the procedure, the patient is typically required to perform the right oral procedures as this helps ensures that there is no risk of getting a future infection.  This can include rinsing the mouth with an oral solution.  You will also need to take antibiotics to prevent infection and pain medication to stay comfortable.

Tips to know:

Prior to undergoing tongue splitting, make sure that you have fully considered the pros and cons.  Although the splitting can be reversed through a restoration procedure, it can cost up to $2,500, and there is the possibility of nerve damage, decreased tongue use and scarring.

After the procedure, make sure you only eat softer foods like yogurt and soups to aid the tongue during the healing process.

Your speech will be slurred for the first few days after the process.  Once the tongue heals, you may need to learn how to form some of your words with your new tongue.  It is possible to develop a minor lisp after getting your tongue split.

Suturing the tongue is quite popular with tongue splitting enthusiasts due to the more normal rounded look it gains after the procedure.

Tongue splitting is generally accepted and considered legal; however, be sure to check if the legislation has passed in your area.

Because your tongue is made of different muscles, it is possible to control each side of the split tongue independently. This will take some practice, though.

How can I save money?

Tongue splitting is a major body modification and is usually expensive due to the delicate procedure involved. Experts recommend that people who want to have their tongue split should rather save up for the procedure and avoid going with services that are offered with discounts and not provided by certified surgeons.

Don’t focus on the price.  Some local piercers can split your tongue, but never consider this option as they aren’t trained, medical doctors.  In fact, some states ban those who don’t have the right credentials.


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