New research suggests that weight gain in children after they have their tonsils removed occurs primarily in children who are smaller and younger at the time of the surgery. However, weight gain was not linked with increased rates of obesity.
About 500,000 children in the United States have their tonsils removed each year. The childhood obesity rate prompted reevaluation of the question of weight gain after adenotonsillectomy.
The authors reviewed medical records and the final study consisted of 815 patients (ages 18 years and younger) who underwent adenotonsillectomy from 2007 through October 2012.
"Despite the finding that many children gain weight and have higher BMIs after tonsillectomy, in our study, the proportion of children who were obese (BMI >95th percentile) before surgery (14.5 percent) remained statistically unchanged after surgery (16.3 percent). On the basis of this work, adenotonsillectomy does not correlate with increased rates of childhood obesity."