Picture of the Tonsils

Human Anatomy

Picture of the Human Tonsils
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The tonsils (palatine tonsils) are a pair of soft tissue masses located at the rear of the throat (pharynx). Each tonsil is composed of tissue similar to lymph nodes, covered by pink mucosa (like on the adjacent mouth lining). Running through the mucosa of each tonsil are pits, called crypts.

The tonsils are part of the lymphatic system, which helps to fight infections. However, removal of the tonsils does not seem to increase susceptibility to infection. Tonsils vary widely in size and swell in response to infection.

Tonsil Conditions

Tonsil Tests

Tonsil Treatments

WebMD Image Collection Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on October 22, 2015




National Institutes of Health.



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