QS Study

The tonsil occupies the tonsillar fossa. They are a pair of soft tissue masses located at the rear of the throat (pharynx). One tonsil is located on the left side of the throat and the other is located on the right side.

Gross anatomy

It is often described to have two borders, two poles and two surfaces:

  • anterior and posterior borders (described in relations below)
  • upper and lower poles: extending to the soft palate and dorsum of the tongue respectively
  • medial and lateral surfaces.

Clinical anatomy of Tonsils 1

Fig: Clinical anatomy of the Tonsils

Clinical anatomy of the tonsils –

(1) Tonsillectomy is usually done by the guillotine method. Hemorrhage after tonsillectomy is checked by removal of the clot from the raw tonsillar bed. This is to be compared with the method for checking postpartum hemorrhage from the uterus, these are the only two organs in the body where bleeding is checked by removal of the clot. In other parts of the body, clot formation is encouraged.

(2) Tonsillitis may cause referred pain in the ear. It starts to develop around 14-15th week of embryonic life, while germinal centers are absent at this stage.

(3) Suppuration in the peritonsillar area is called quincy. A peritonsillar abscess is drained by making an incision in the most prominent point of the abscess.

(4) Tonsils are often sites of a septic focus. Such a focus can lead to serious diseases like pulmonary tuberculosis, meningitis etc., and is often the cause of general ill health. The epithelial lining proliferates and forms buds, which form the primordium of the palatine tonsil.

(5) The tonsil does not always completely fill the sinus ton-sillaris, the unoccupied space above it being known as the supratonsillar fossa, into which several crypts usually open. The outer aspect of the tonsil is loosely attached to the superior constrictor muscle of the pharynx, thus subjecting it to compression with every act of deglutition.

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