To investigate weight gain and any increased risk of obesity in children who have undergone tonsillectomy.
Retrospective chart review.
Tertiary care pediatric hospital.
The study included 200 children aged 2 to 12 years who were undergoing tonsillectomy and 200 age- and sex-matched controls. All children had a preoperative body mass index (BMI) and a postoperative BMI recorded 6 to 18 months after surgery.
Main Outcome Measures
The BMI percentile (BMI%) for age was analyzed between and within groups. A Wilcoxon matched-pairs test was used to analyze BMI% before and after tonsillectomy. A Mann-Whitney test was used to compare BMI% between the study and the control groups. An odds ratio (OR) was used to compare overweight (≥85%) and obese (≥95%) patients before and after surgery. A correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between age and weight gain.
The BMI% did not differ significantly between the study and the control groups before surgery (P = .14). The BMI% in the study group increased significantly after tonsillectomy (P < .001). Although older children had a higher BMI% than matched controls before surgery, they had a smaller change in BMI% than younger children after tonsillectomy (P = .004). The odds of a child being overweight (OR, 1.23; P = .36) or obese (OR, 1.44; P = .12) were not significantly different before or after tonsillectomy.
Children, particularly younger ones, gained weight after tonsillectomy, but the odds of a child being overweight or obese after tonsillectomy were no different than they were before surgery.