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Meet Alisa Sacker of Team Tongue Tie in Del Mar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alisa Sacker.

Alisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I worked with Kaiser Permanente for more than 22 years in general pediatrics and also in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit working with extremely compromised newborns. I pioneered the laser program for the release of tongue and lip tie restrictions for babies that struggle with breastfeeding. The program grew much bigger than was expected in such a large organization, and I was not able to provide the quality of aftercare and lactation support that was needed for these families.

It was time to begin a new chapter in my life. Team Tongue Tie was created out of the need to provide the best possible care for breastfeeding moms and their children. My sister, Dr. Rosanne Berger had been working in Los Angeles at a large pediatric dental practice for over 17 years. She moved down to San Diego to join me at Team Tongue Tie and we now work together along with our International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Jarrah Foster. I have also become an IBCLC and Dr. Berger completed the Lactation program. She is awaiting her testing results for IBCLC status.

As providers that have lactation training, there is a considerable difference in the actual procedure for the release of ties. There is a more specific focus toward feeding and speech issues than just for dental problems. Team Tongue Tie provides 1:1 lactation support for all families. We are actually ‘hands-on’ when teaching the aftercare exercises and have the parents work directly with their baby or child. We provide extensive follow up to prevent reattachment of the released sites.

Our office is located in the beautiful Hacienda building in the Del Mar area which provides a peaceful environment and a more stress-free time for families. Team Tongue Tie uses a state of the art C02 laser to perform the frenectomy procedures. This laser is much safer on babies than other methods and there is usually no bleeding afterward. The procedure is very fast and gentle. General anesthesia is unnecessary either for children or for adults and therefore, we only need to use a topical anesthetic. As there is a genetic component to ties, we often end up treating siblings and parents in the family. We also end up treating extended family members because they see such an improvement in the quality of life.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Leaving stable, secure and high paying jobs to get Team Tongue Tie off of the ground was initially the greatest challenge. Providing a stress-free environment; giving proper education; using state of the art equipment and delivering quality aftercare to make the procedures successful has made the journey into our new venture completely worth all of our efforts. We are doing our best to make the process better for moms and babies. After all, it is about the improved lives of the families and their ongoing and successfully growing stories that brings us the most joy and satisfaction. Team Tongue Tie is truly a labor of love and we would not have it any other way.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Team Tongue Tie story. Tell us more about the business.
Team Tongue Tie is the first of its kind in California. There are other doctors and dentists that do laser frenectomies, but they do not have the lactation training or the extensive medical and dental backgrounds that we do at Team Tongue Tie.

I personally understand what it is like to struggle with breastfeeding two tongue-tied children that were not diagnosed when they were young. I have seen what happens when ties are not fixed at a young age and have spent enough years clinically treating babies and children to see the positive outcomes when they are treated early and correctly.

We revise many babies, children and adults that have been incorrectly or not fully released. This is extremely devastating for the families involved. Our goal is to fix the children while they are young and do the procedure correctly so it is a one time, successful outcome.

No other office in California or even adjacent states has a pediatric MD and dentist who are also lactation consultants. We have seen first hand how critical follow up is for proper healing. Our patients have direct access to us via text 24/7 and any/all follow-up visits are included. We never charge for a recheck visit. Our patients can feel our passion and compassion in all we do with them and for them.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck, neither good nor bad, has not had any part of the success of Team Tongue. Rather, talent, trust and passion for our patients have been the driving force behind all that we are!

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