Removing tonsils and adenoids on children with sleep apnea does not improve their behaviour or performance at school.

A study conducted by Dr. Evelyn Constantin of the MCH shows that children with sleep apnea who have their adenoids and tonsils removed sleep and breathe better, but that there is no impact on their behaviour or performance in school.

Removing the tonsils and adenoids will cure sleep apnea in most young patients and studies have linked sleep apnea to developmental and behavioural problems. Dr Constantin’s team wanted to see if the operation could address this issue.

They interviewed 138 parents of children suffering with sleep apnea. While those who had undergone surgery reported improvement in breathing, sleeping and quality of life, their concentration, school performance and development did not improve more than in their counterparts who had not been operated.

Source: Journal of Pediatrics, May 2007.