Tongue bifurcation, or tongue splitting, is a type of body modification in which the tongue is cut centrally from its tip part of the way towards its base, forking the end. In addition to being covered under laws prohibiting the unlicensed practice of medicine, tongue splitting is now banned in the U.S. military. Thus, by necessity, it is an underground practice. The issue of tongue splitting has also divided bioethicists.
Before splitting, some have a relatively thick tongue piercing where the base of the split is supposed to be, and wait till this is fully healed before going through the procedure, but the stretched piercing location will usually result in a visually different tissue than the sutured area.
Tongue bifurcation is, however, not necessarily a surgical procedure. Self modifiers often choose to achieve a split by gradually tightening nylon bindings inserted through an existing tongue piercing over a long period of time. This method is long, arduous, and requires a high pain tolerance.