Weight Gain in Children Post-Tonsil Removal Surgery

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Some Children Gain Weight After Tonsil Removal Surgery
Some Children Gain Weight After Tonsil Removal Surgery

(HealthDay News) — Younger children and those with lower pre-surgery weight percentiles are most likely to gain more weight than expected following adenotonsillectomy, according to a study published online April 17 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Josephine A. Czechowicz, MD, and Kay W. Chang, MD, both from Stanford University in California, retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 815 patients, ≥18 years of age, who underwent adenotonsillectomy at an academic pediatric tertiary medical center. Height and weight measurements were assessed within 3 months before surgery, within 3–9 months after surgery, and within 12–27 months after surgery.

The researchers found that weight percentiles in the study group increased by a mean of 6.3 percentile points (P<0.001) 18 months after surgery. There were also significant increases in body mass index percentiles (mean increase, 8.0 percentile points; P<0.001). Children who were between the first and 60th percentiles for weight (P<0.001) and those >4 years of age at the time of surgery (P<0.001) had the greatest increases in weight percentiles. For children who preoperatively were already above the 80th percentile in weight, weight percentiles did not increase (P=0.15).

"Weight gain after adenotonsillectomy occurs primarily in patients who are smaller and younger at the time of surgery and does not correlate with increased rates of obesity," the authors write.

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