Also known as: Tonsillectomy, sleep apnea treatment, snoring treatment

Children who have a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy to treat sleep apnea usually have a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within 6 months of the surgery. Parents have reported decreases in:

  • Snoring, coughing, and colds.
  • Overactivity (hyperactivity) and other behavioral problems.
  • Restless sleep.

In children, these procedures appear to be successful in treating obstructive sleep apnea 75% to 100% of the time.

  • Children who have certain health problems that cause bony deformities of the face and head, such as dwarfism or Down syndrome, may need close monitoring before surgery. Also, children who have nervous and muscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy, or who have a head injury may need to be monitored closely before surgery.
  • Children who have other conditions, such as asthma, upper respiratory infections, and heart problems, need to be treated for those conditions before and after surgery to reduce the risk of complications.

Your doctor may suggest tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy to treat sleep apnea if you have enlarged tonsils and adenoids that are blocking your airway during sleep. This is often the first treatment option for children, because enlarged tonsils and adenoids are usually the cause of their sleep apnea.