What are Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids?

What are Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids?

Enlarged tonsils (also called tonsillar hypertrophy) and adenoids (adenoid hypertrophy) can be a chronic or temporary condition caused by a number of different factors including infection.1 Tonsillitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the tonsils.2

Chronic hypertrophy can sometimes interfere with normal breathing, sleeping, and speaking. These interferences will oftentimes lead to behavioral or performance issues at school or work. Doctors may suggest surgical removal of the tonsils and/or adenoids if their patients continually experience these issues caused by such enlargement.

Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids

Diagnosing Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids

Children and adults should see a doctor if they're having symptoms of enlarged tonsils and adenoids. The doctor will most likely look down the throat using a mirror and may also take a culture from the throat to test for strep throat or other infection. The doctor will also ask general questions about medical history and diagnostic indicators of tonsil and adenoid enlargement such as:

  • Majority of breathing taking place through the mouth (as opposed to the nose)
  • 'Stuffy nose' sound in the voice when talking
  • Runny nose, but no cold or allergy
  • Loud breathing when awake
  • Persistent snoring when asleep

How are Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids Treated?

Your doctor may suggest surgical removal of the tonsils (this procedure is called a tonsillectomy) and/or adenoids (adenoidectomy) if your tonsils and adenoids are chronically enlarged and cause persistent problems with breathing, speaking, or sleeping.1

See more on tonsillectomy.

  1. Tonsils and Adenoids. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 2014. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/tonsils-and-adenoids. Accessed August 25, 2016.
  2. tonsillitis - Medical Definition. Medilexiconcom. 2016. Available at: http://www.medilexicon.com/dictionary/92513. Accessed December 1, 2016.
*Not every surgeon is trained to use COBLATION Technology in tonsillectomy procedures.

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.

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