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Surgery May Help, Not Cure Obese Children With Sleep Disorders

Armen Hareyan's picture

Surgical interventions for many obese children suffering from obstructive sleep apnea may not cure the problem, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, IL.

Obese children are at increased risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder that is associated with a decreased quality of life as well as behavioral, neurocognitive, cardiovascular, metabolic, endocrine, and psychiatric complications.

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The standard therapy for children with this condition is removal of the tonsils and adenoid tissue.

The study authors reviewed the literature and combined the results of four studies on obese children with obstructive sleep apnea who had a sleep study before and after undergoing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Their findings reveal that obese children may be helped, but are unlikely to be completely cured of obstructive sleep apnea after removal of the tonsils and adenoids.

The authors concluded that persistent obstructive sleep apnea after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy should be carefully evaluated and treated to avoid further complications of the disease.