The Question: Does adenotonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids) for obstructive sleep apnea result in an excessive weight gain?

The Study: All the 464 children in this study had obstructive sleep apnea significant enough to warrant surgery. Half of the children, ages five to ten years old, had surgery while the other half received watchful waiting and supportive care. Their weight was monitored over the seven months of the study.

The Results: As expected, all the children gained weight during this study. However, the children who had the surgery experienced “a greater than expected weight gain.” This occurred in both children who were overweight when enrolled in the study and those who were normal weight.

Comment: The surgery helped with the children’s sleep apnea, but it’s unclear why some children experienced the excessive weight gain after surgery. Weight gain increases the risk of a recurrence of sleep apnea.

Read More: Pediatrics, 08/14

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From issue: 29/11-12