Tonsillectomy and Airway Obstruction During Sleep: Caregiver Counseling

What Is Obstructive Sleep-Disordered Breathing?

oSDB is when air is blocked during sleep. It can be caused by large tonsils and adenoids. Children that are overweight may also have oSDB. Children with oSDB may be sleepy during the day, act out, struggle in school, have nighttime bedwetting and be small for their age.

How is oSDB Diagnosed?

A sleep study or polysomnography (pol-ee-som-nog-ruh-fee) or “PSG” may be needed to see if your child has oSDB. The test is done in a sleep lab. A medical technician will put small discs or pads on your child’s head and body. Your child’s heart rate, body movements, oxygen levels, and breathing through their mouth and nose will be measured.

Will My Child's oSDB Go Away after Tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy helps almost all normal-weight children with oSDB and it improves sleep in most children in this group. Tonsillectomy also helps overweight children with oSDB but sleep is not always improved. Your child’s oSDB may not go away or it may return even after tonsillectomy.

What if I have More Questions?

Contact your healthcare provider if you have any further questions.

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The information on ENThealth.org is provided solely for educational purposes and does not represent medical advice nor is it a substitute for seeking professional medical care.