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"The back of my throat is extremely sore. Do i need to have my tonsils taken out?"

ZocdocAnswersThe back of my throat is extremely sore. Do i need to have my tonsils taken out?


I am a 16 year old female i am a junior in high school. i was told that you should get your tonsils taken out if you have a sore throat. i don't know if i should do that. the back of my throat is sore when i swallow but its mostly sore on the sides. should i get my tonsils removed or is it drainage from possibly a cold?


Sore throats are often part of the syndrome attributed to the common cold or other upper respiratory tract infection. The vast majority of these cases do not end up leading to the tonsils being removed, and symptoms usually resolve within 1-2 weeks. Tonsils are usually considered for removal after repeated infections involving the tonsils (causing pain and enlargement), not just a sore throat. Since the majority of these infections causing sore throat are not due to bacteria, antibiotics are not typically prescribed as they would have no effect. Occasionally a sore throat can be due to a Streptococcal infection (i.e., Strep throat), in which case Penicillin should be prescribed. Strep throat is often associated with a lack of cough, coating of the tonsils (called an exudate), tender swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck, and a fever. If you have these symptoms, then you should talk to your pediatrician or primary care doctor. He/she can do a rapid strep test if needed (a swab against the back of the throat) to help make a diagnosis.

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