Down syndrome: Long-Term Treatment and Outcomes

Down syndrome: Long-Term Treatment and Outcomes


Because of their anatomy and low muscle tone, children with Down syndrome are more likely to have breathing issues after surgery (hypotonia). Stridor (noisy breathing caused by a constriction or partial blockage of the windpipe) and apnea are typical side effects of surgery, thus children with Down syndrome should be closely monitored both before and after surgery. Infections such as ear infections and pneumonia may be more common in children with Down syndrome. Infections should be treated aggressively in all cases. Adenoid and tonsil excision are frequently used to treat sleep apnea.

Immunizations and constant medical care are essential. Special growth charts that compare children with Down syndrome to other children with Down syndrome should be used to track their progress. They may be more prone to obesity, thus weight-management treatments are necessary to keep the youngster active and healthy. Constipation can be an issue due to poor muscle tone and inactivity, and a high-fiber diet can help to alleviate this condition.

Puberty normally develops around the same time as other children, and both children and parents will require assistance in learning how to manage their sexuality in a socially acceptable manner.

Thyroid disorders are more common in children with Down syndrome (20 percent incidence). Although Down syndrome is 18-20 times more likely than the general population to develop leukemia, the absolute risk is still minimal. The average life expectancy is around 55 years. Men are sterile in the majority of cases, but women can conceive. A baby with Down syndrome will have a 50% probability of being born to them.


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