Used to treat obstructive
sleep apnea (OSA) in children.
Rarely used to treat
snoring in adults.
Not used to treat
snoring in children.
The surgeries almost always require a stay in the hospital.
What To Expect After Surgery
You may need to be watched closely after
surgery. Your doctor or surgeon will watch:
Your blood oxygen levels for the first 2 to 3
nights after surgery.
For throat swelling, nerve injury, and
sleepiness. Both the surgery itself and the medicines used can cause this.
Children who are younger than 3 years and who have other
conditions, such as
Down syndrome, are more likely to have problems from surgery. The most common is having a hard time breathing. These children may need
oxygen therapy or
continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy
Why It Is Done
Your doctor may suggest these surgeries to treat sleep apnea if you have swollen tonsils and
adenoids that block your airway during sleep. This is often the first treatment choice for children. That's because swollen tonsils and adenoids are often the cause of their sleep apnea.
How Well It Works
In children with sleep apnea, symptoms almost always improve within 6 months of surgery. Parents report a decrease
Snoring, coughing, and
Hyperactivity and other behavior
In children, these surgeries work well to treat obstructive sleep apnea 75% to 100% of the time. This is true even if the child is
throat will be sore after surgery. You may find it hard to eat and swallow for a few
days. Other possible problems after surgery include:
A lot of bleeding.
(Some bleeding is expected.)
What To Think About
Snoring is not always thought to be a
medical problem. Your insurance may not pay to treat it.
You can't predict
if you will have snoring or breathing problems by simply looking at the size of your tonsils and adenoids.
If you have
other health problems, your doctor may have to treat them before you have this
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are the most common
treatments for children who have obstructive sleep apnea.
Some children may need to be watched closely before surgery. This includes those who have certain health problems that
cause bony deformities of the face and head. These problems include dwarfism and Down syndrome. It also includes children who have had a head injury or who have nervous and muscular disorders, such as
Children who have other conditions, such as
asthma, upper respiratory infections, and heart
problems, need to be treated for those problems before and after surgery. This can help
reduce the chance of problems from surgery.
Schechter MS, et al. (2002). Technical report: Diagnosis and management of childhood obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Pediatrics, 109(4): E69. Available online: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/109/4/e69.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerMark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
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