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Child & Teen Health

Does your child need a tonsillectomy?

March 20, 2018

About the Author

photo of Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy … See Full Bio
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Edmund Lipskis
April 7, 2018

While tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy can open airways when they are the obstructive culprit, it is important to note that for children with Sleep Disturbed Breathing, like Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, the recurrance of airway issues without dentofacial orthopedic procedures like palatal expansion (to open the nasal airway), along with Myofunctional Therapy to stabilize the results, is very high. According to research at Stanford, the relapse rates from the surgical procedures alone are around 70%. Research also demonstrates that CPAP in children (and probably adults too), while managing their OSA, will definitely reduce the skeletally mid face, which has been shown to actually make their Apnea worse. A more definitive treatment is to non-surgically make skeletal orthopedic changes that eliminate the skeletal issues that cause the Apnea in the first place. Dr. Christian Guilleminault from Stanford, probably the highest authority on OSA on the planet states that Craniofacial structural issues are THE cause of OSA in non morbidly obese children. He also states that the only demonstrated endpoint for curing OSA in Children is to create a patent nasal airway. Reducing systemic inflammation with dietary changes, along with some lifestyle changes can also be key in resolving the significant health and developmental problems.

Jasper van Baars
March 23, 2018

wow, what a bad piece totally ignoring the function of the tonsols : no one in the right mind could make a informed decision with above information
(if it hurts just cut it off if the doctor says so)

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