Body modifications have changed rapidly over the years. Modifications that used to be taboo are now greatly accepted. Tongue bifurcation or tongue splitting was not well known in the 90’s, however, now in this day and time almost everyone has at least heard of it and a lot of people have done it. Body modification enthusiasts get this alteration done for many of their own personal reasons.
There are a few different methods in which a forked tongue can be achieved. The safest, most recommended procedure is done by an oral surgeon. This procedure can cost anywhere between $500 and $3000. The doctor that does the procedure will use anesthesia and a laser to bifurcate the tongue. The laser cauterizes the tongue as it splits it, which prevents excessive bleeding. This procedure is usually only 15 minutes long. Healing time usually only takes about one to two weeks.
Tie-off is another method that is used. This involves the tongue already being pierced and healed completely. Dental floss or sutures are used to tie a loop centrally along the tongue. Over time the loop has to be tied tighter and tighter. This process takes a while and can be very uncomfortable. Most people will make it half way and decided to cut the rest of the way to the tip of the tongue with a blade. Gauging the already healed tongue with either a larger barbell or multiple barbells
also can be done to help split the tongue.
Cutting the tongue with a blade or scalping is another process that can be done. However, this is the bloodiest way the tongue can be split. There are large blood vessels that run through the tongue, this being said, cauterizing the tongue while it is being split is the best way to stop the bleeding. Cauterizing the tongue can be very painful. Suturing the split tongue is very popular because it makes the tongue look more rounded which looks more “normal”.
The Risks Involved
Tongue splitting does have risk like all other body modifications. Severe bleeding can occur if the process is not done in a controlled professional environment. After the process is done the heal time can last up to a month. Swelling and tenderness is definitely not uncommon. Talking and eating will be very difficult at first, until the tongue is healed. Preventing infection is a major factor. It is not recommended to smoke after this process is done before it heals.
It is not uncommon that the tongue will regenerate after it is split. Its part of the body’s natural response to an open wound; heal it. After the initial split, the tongue will start to re-grow back together, even up to a year later. To prevent the tongue from growing back together, sometimes it is necessary to keep the wound open. This can be done by taking the smooth part of a Q-tip and placing it in-between the spit tongue periodically. The best way to help prevent re-growth before the split is done, is by gauging a tongue piercing
to a lager gauge and allowing it to heal completely. This way the tongue is already “prepared” to stay open to the spot where the tongue ring once was.