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How effective is a tonsillectomy at curing sleep apnea?

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Quick Answer

Tonsillectomy is effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea at least 75 percent of the time, according to WebMD. A decrease in snoring, colds, coughing, restless sleep and hyperactivity were reported following the procedure. Tonsillectomy is usually only used to treat sleep apnea in children.

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Tonsillectomy, or removal of the tonsils, along with adenoidectomy, or removal of the adenoids, treats obstructive sleep apnea in patients with enlarged tonsils or adenoids that block the airway during sleep, notes WebMD. In children, enlargement of the tonsils or adenoids is a major cause of sleep apnea. The procedure requires a hospital stay for most children.

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