Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy Tied to Weight Gain

Normal and overweight children gain greater amount of weight than expected post-operation

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Normal and overweight children who undergo tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy gain a greater amount of weight than expected after the operation, according to a review published online Jan. 4 in Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

Anita Jeyakumar, M.D., from Saint Louis University, and colleagues reviewed the literature published between 1970 and 2009 on children who underwent tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy, or both. Results from nine studies were included in analyses of patients' pre- and postoperative weight. Study results were grouped according to the method used to measure weight gain.

The investigators included a total of 795 children, with a preoperative weight ranging from normal to morbidly obese. In one group of studies involving 127 children, body mass index increased from pre- to post-operation by 5.5 to 8.2 percent. In the second group of studies, which included 419 children, standardized weight scores increased in 46 to 100 percent of patients postoperatively. In the third group of studies, involving 249 children, the corrected weight increased by 50 to 75 percent postoperatively. Postoperative weight of morbidly obese patients remained unchanged.

"A large population of normal and overweight children undergoing adenotonsillectomy gained a greater than expected amount of weight postoperatively, which suggests an association between adenotonsillectomy and weight gain," the authors write.

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