Age, Not Underlying Diagnosis, Key Factor in Weight Gain in Children After Tonsillectomy, Johns Hopkins University Study
Published: Sep 12, 2012
Potentially worrisome weight gains following tonsillectomy occur mostly in children under the age of 6, not in older children, a study by Johns Hopkins experts in otolaryngology- head and neck surgery shows. Sudden increases in body mass index, or BMI, have been routinely observed for months after some of the more than half-million surgeries performed annually in the United States to remove the sore and swollen tissues at the back of the throat. The Johns Hopkins study, in 115 children in the Baltimore region, is believed to be the first to dispel long-held beliefs that such weight gains occurred mostly in children whose tonsils were removed as primary treatment for diagnosed sleep apnea, when the swollen, paired tissues partially obstruct breathing and disrupt sleep. It is also believed to be the largest study to analyze weight gain specific to every child's age group, from 1 through 17.