Rocky Mountain Ear, Nose & Throat

TEL: (303) 795-5587
200 W. County Line Road, Suite 330
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Tonsil & Adenoids

What are the Tonsils and Adenoids? These structures are part of the body’s lymphatic system and filter infections, fluids or even tumor cells. They represent only a small portion of the body's lymphatic system. The tonsils live on either side of the throat and the adenoids reside in the back of the nose and are not easily visible. They are generally large in children and shrink later in life.

Viral infections usually resolve on their own within 24-28 hrs while bacterial infections may last 5-10days. An abscess can form if the infection gets trapped within the tonsil and causes a large collection of pus that may need to be drained in the office, emergency room or operating room and may occur quite rapidly. Adenoid infections typically cause chronic nasal obstruction, drainage and may be related to some chronic ear infections. This may simulate sinus-like infections in children.

The most common indications for removal are: enlargement that can cause airway obstruction, breathing problems or swallowing problems. Or chronic infections that fail to resolve on antibiotics or increasing frequency of infections. Commonly a “strep” test is done, but this test is not always accurate. Sometimes, children under the are 3 may spend the night in the hospital, but most commonly, it is performed as an outpatient surgery. Adenoidectomy, is performed when the adenoids get or stay enlarged or cause chronic nasal problems or associated with ear infections in children.