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Wednesday
Jul202011

World Record for Biggest Tonsils Set By Kansas Man

File photo. Comstock/Thinkstock(TOPEKA, Kan.) -- Justin Werner added a new honor to his resume: Guinness World Record holder for biggest tonsils. In fact, he really did add it to his list of credentials.

"I put it on my resume before I applied to my last job," said Werner, 21, of Topeka, Kan. "What can I say -- it's a good conversation starter. I got the job."

Sore throats, snoring, breathing and sleep problems plagued Werner since he was a kid, but he often shrugged them off. It was only after a dental hygienist commented on his large tonsils that he began to consider a tonsillectomy.

"It got to the point where every time I swallowed I was uncomfortable," the record holder said.

When doctors finally removed them, his larger tonsil clocked in at 2.1 inches long and 1.1 inches wide, thoroughly beating the competition.

"I ended up crushing" the record, said Werner, who beat out the previous record holder, Justin Dodge of Milwaukee, Wis., by about 0.8 inches. "I wanted to keep them, but I guess rules these days don't allow it."

Still, he has proof of his tonsils' exceptional size. Last week, Werner received official papers from Guinness World Records that granted him the prestigious title as having the biggest tonsils ever recorded in the world.

"It's fairly common that we take out very enlarged tonsils, but Justin's were the biggest that I had ever removed," said Dr. Tyler Grindal, an otolaryngologist who performed Werner's surgery. "Prior to surgery, we knew they were very enlarged, but it wasn't until he was under anesthesia that I could really appreciate just how big they were."

Tonsils are composed of tissue and they're similar to lymph nodes or glands found in the neck. When enlarged, they can cause breathing problems, sleep apnea and pain.

The condition is considered chronic if a person suffers three episodes of tonsillitis every year for three years, or seven episodes in one year.

As for Werner, he said quality of life improved right away.

"The change was immediate," he said. "I can breathe and sleep so much better."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio