Tonsils - Definition

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The tonsils are situated in the ENT area and are made up of five pairs. They play an important role in the body's defense against outside factors such as viruses and bacteria by making antibodies to fight against their proliferation. The best known are the faucial tonsils, small masses localized in the back of the throat and surrounding the uvula. The tonsils reach their maximum size at puberty. When they become infected, notably during a sore throat, the tonsils swell and swallowing is painful. In the case of repeated infections, the tonsils can be removed: this is a tonsillectomy.