There are many methods used to split the tongue like cutting with a scalpel, and tying it off. It is also done by oral surgeons, cauterizing, plastic surgeons, and body modification practitioners or one can do it oneself. The legal way of carrying out this process is through oral and plastic surgeons.
Before splitting with any method, some choose to go tongue piercing where there is supposed to be a back end. The result might not be desired but it leads to cutting the tongue more than required. While using the scalpel process, the tongue is cut down the middle with a scalpel and each half is stitched along the cut edge. This is a better process, and prevents the sides from healing back with each other, and also achieves a more rounded and natural look.
Cauterizing can be done with a cautery unit or an argon laser. Another method is to tie off or the fishing line method, which can be done personally. The tongue heals completely within in two to three months. The person might undergo difficulty with speech or normal dietary habits. If the procedure is done by a doctor, the risks are negligible, and complications that rise can be controlled under medical supervision.
If it is done not using a surgeon, loss of blood is the single largest risk. The tongue contains major blood vessels, and without proper training and tools, amateur practitioners may find themselves unable to control blood loss. Unaware of the damage to nerves and glands in the tongue - some people still go for it.
Proper care should be ensured in order not to accidentally damage glands in the base of the mouth. Infection and scarring is possible but it rarely happens. Splitting is reversible but the reversal is even more painful than the tongue splitting procedure.
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