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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Yellow bump on back of throat

01/22/2008

Question:

A few days ago I noticed a yellow bump on the back of my throat on the right side. I have canker sores, but this is not sore at all. It is about the size of a small pea. I also have had tonsil stones, but this seems to be just a smooth yellow bump. It does not get any larger and it does not hurt. It is near the tonsil.

Answer:

The tonsils are lymphoid tissue, a type of tissue that filters infection.  The tonsils are quite visible, but in addition, we have lymphoid tissue that is embedded in the lining over the posterior wall of the throat and the back of the tongue.  Sometimes these little islands of lymphoid tissue have a yellowish appearance, and can sometimes become temporarily swollen.  It is generally of little concern, and does not mean you have an underlying infection.  If it continues to grow, or if you develop any symptoms, I would simply consult an ENT physician.

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati