If the symptoms are significant and the tonsils are enlarged, the child is strongly recommended for tonsil and adenoid removal (T&A). If the symptoms are mild, academic performance remains excellent, the tonsils are small, and puberty is eminent (tonsils and adenoids shrink at puberty), it may be recommended that SDB be treated only if matters get worse. The majority of cases fall somewhere in between.
Enlarged tonsils are the most common cause for SDB, thus T&A is the most effective treatment for pediatric SDB. This surgery achieves a 90% success rate for childhood SDB. Of the nearly 400,000 T&As performed in the U.S. each year, 75% are performed to treat SDB.
Not every child with snoring should undergo T&A. The procedure does have risks and possible complications. Aside from the mental anguish experienced by the parent and child, potential problems include anesthesia risks, bleeding, and infection.
Fortunately, removal of tonsils and adenoids is curative in most pediatric patients. If the patient hasother reasons to remove tonsils and adenoids, then simply performing surgery removes the need for more tests.