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Sleep Benefits From Tonsillectomy Peak at 6 Months

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Children who had their tonsils and adenoids removed slept better after removal, but the benefit began to decline six months post-surgery, a new small study has found.

Researchers from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City looked at data on 44 children who had sleep-disordered breathing prior to undergoing surgery to remove their tonsils and adenoids.

Before surgery, at six-months post-surgery, and between 2.4 years and 3.6 years after the surgery parents filled out questionnaires to assess their children’s sleep habits, ADHD symptoms, cognitive issues, hyperactivity and oppositional behavior. As time passed, scores on an index of breathing disorders began to worsen at a rate of 7 percent per year, the researchers found. Still, after about 2.5 years, the children were doing better overall on nearly all measures, including sleep-disordered breathing, hyperactivity and oppositional behavior.

Researchers noted that only ADHD index scores had returned to where they were prior to surgery.

“Our longitudinal study demonstrates that improvements in sleep and behavior may not be exactly maintained over time, but at 2.5 years after the surgical intervention, all parameters reported in this study except the ADHD index remained below baseline values,” the authors wrote.

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology

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