Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Do I have to get my tonsils removed if I get tonsillitis?"
The thing that hangs down in the back of my throat is very swollen,I can feel it on my tongue. Do I hav eto get it removed?
I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor. While it is unlikely that you will need surgery, there are other concerns that should be evaluated. Firstly, the thing that hangs from the back of your throat is not a tonsil -- this is the uvula. This can be inflamed and enlarged -- a condition known as uvulitis. This refers to enlargement of the uvula -- which can be caused by a number of problems. Dehydration is one cause, so drinking plenty of fluids is important. The other major causes are infections -- often viral infections that require no treatment. Rarely, a bacterial infection can cause this -- like strep throat -- and therefore evaluation by your doctor can be helpful. Rarely, this enlargement is a sign of allergies. This will normally decrease in size after the problem that caused the inflammation is fixed. It is rare to need surgery to remove this. Only if this is enlarged and blocking the airway does surgery need to be performed. The uvula is used for phonoation -- of the proper making of sounds -- so surgery can change one's voice. The tonsils are located on the back of the throat -- one on either side. Actually there are many different tonsils -- that can be inflamed from many different causes. This does not necessitate surgery either. Talk to your doctor for more information.
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