To prospectively evaluate the outcome of surgical treatment decisions made by a multidisciplinary team for children aged 18 months to 12 years with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB).A multidisciplinary team evaluated children referred to a sleep clinic for suspicion of SDB using polysomnography, questionnaires, and clinical evaluations. Suggestions for treatment (surgical, medical, or orthodontic) were made and sent to referring providers. A follow-up evaluation, which included a repeat of all of the tests performed at baseline, was performed 3 months after treatment (and at 6 months for a subgroup of subjects). The clinical outcome of the recommended versus the performed treatment was compared.56 successively evaluated children.Based on insurance plans, 11 children were treated by a surgeon on the multidisciplinary team, who followed all treatment recommendations. After treatment, 1 of the 11 children still had SDB. Forty-five children were referred to other specialists. Only 1 of these children had the team's treatment recommendations implemented. Twenty-six of the 45 children had residual symptoms. Twelve children had polysomnographic abnormalities with or without symptoms or snoring. Sixteen children (28.6%) underwent a second surgical procedure.There are misconceptions in the pediatric and otolaryngologic communities about the rationale for the surgical treatment of SDB. Interactions between mouth breathing, maxillofacial growth, and clinical symptoms associated with SDB are not well understood. Multidisciplinary evaluations of the anatomic abnormalities of children with SDB lead to better overall treatment.
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