Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

# year old with (OSA) Sleep Apnea. Are there alternatives to tonsil and adenoid removal

comments : my 3yr old grandaughter has been diagnosed with OSA, they are referring surgery to remove adenoids & tonsils. would like to know if there are any alternatives out there. we are going to try the oxygen therapy 1st. is there anythings else we can do

This is an interesting question for several reasons. The first is that they have discussed oxygen therapy, unfortunately oxygen therapy is not helpful for obstructive sleep apnea because the airway is obstructed and therefore the oxygen does not get to the lungs.

The second part of the question is there an alterrnative to tonsil and adenoid removal. Rapid maxillary expansion can open the airway in children and is often indicated IN ADDITION to removal of tonsils and/or adenoids. A Swedish researcher suggested at the Dental Sleep Meeting that doing maxillary expansion prior to surgery make reduce complications and create easier and/or faster healing. Another recent report has shown that even if tonsils and adenoids are removed there will remain orthopedic jaw problems that will still usually require widening of the palate.

The question which should be done first surgery or widening of the maxilla is still open.

What is not open is that pediatric patients with sleep apnea should be treated ASAP. ADD, ADHD and other learning and behavioral disorders have been linked to pediatric sleep apnea and time is of the essence.

Various studies have shown delayed brain development and/or permanent changes in brain development as a consequence to sleep apnea in children. Read the story in my profile about my sons sleep apnea and how treating it changed his life.

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by Dr Shapira at 9:04 PM