Adenoids and Tonsils

Monday, May 09, 2011

All most people know about tonsils is that when you get them removed, you get to eat ice cream. In todays medical segment, Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about tonsils and their sister glands, the adenoids.

Dr. Hill:

Adenoids and tonsils are masses of tissue similar to the lymph nodes found in the neck, groin and armpits. Tonsils are the two masses on the back of the throat. Adenoids are high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth. The most common problems are recurrent throat or ear infections, and significant enlargement that makes it difficult to breathe or swallow.

Tonsils and adenoids work as part of the bodys immune system by filtering out germs. But, there are plenty of other such filters in the body, so having them removed doesnt lower a childs resistance. The adenoids usually go away on their own when a child reaches puberty.

Most children will outgrow throat and ear infections. Doctors usually recommend surgery only when infected or enlarged tonsils or adenoids become so severe that they interfere with hearing, breathing or cause school absences from illness. Surgery is usually done in an outpatient surgery center with the child going home the same day.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.