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Peritonsillar abscess

  • Alternative Names

    Quinsy; Abscess - peritonsillar


    If the infection is caught early, you will be given antibiotics. More likely, if an abscess has developed, it will need to be drained with a needle or by cutting it open.

    Sometimes, the abscess may be drained and the tonsils removed at the same time. You will be prescribed painkillers.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Peritonsillar abscess usually goes away with treatment, although the infection may return in the future.

    • Airway obstruction
    • Cellulitis of the jaw, neck, or chest
    • Endocarditis (rare)
    • Fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion)
    • Inflammation around the heart (pericarditis)
    • Pneumonia

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have had tonsillitis and you develop symptoms of peritonsillar abscess.

    Call your health care provider if you have:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Pain in the chest
    • Persistent fever
    • Symptoms that get worse