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Tonsil and Adenoid Anatomy

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Tonsils are fleshy masses of lymphatic tissue found in the throat, or pharynx. There are four different types of tonsils: palatine, pharyngeal (commonly referred to as the adenoid), lingual and tubal. Together these four tonsils make up what is called Waldyer’s ring. They are each located in different parts of the throat, and in their healthy state, produce antibodies to battle bacteria that enter through the mouth and nose. When we use the term, “tonsils,” we are typically referring to the palatine tonsils. The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the throat on either side of the uvula and just behind the tongue. Each tonsil is composed of approximately 15 crypts, or pits, which help to increase surface area and trap germs.

The pharyngeal tonsils are commonly referred to as adenoids. Adenoids hang down in the back of the throat, directly behind the nose. Adenoids grow from birth, typically reaching their largest at ages 3-5, then begin shrinking at age 7-8 and disappear by adulthood.

No matter how statistically safe a procedure has proven to be, every surgery has risks. Post Tonsillectomy Hemorrhage (PTH) is a potentially serious complication that has been reported in literature for both adult and pediatric patients. It is reported to occur following use of COBLATION devices as well as following the use of other surgical devices and methods. Before making any surgical decision, you should speak with your doctor about any potential risks.

COBLATION wands are contraindicated for use in patients with cardiac pacemakers or other electronic device implants.

The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.The information on this site does not replace your doctor's specific instructions.