Conditions and diseases
Symptoms and causes
What is it?
A tonsilar abscess is a complication that can arise from an infection of the tonsils (tonsilitis or angina). This is a tonsil infection that can spread to the soft tissues. The infection causes pus to collect behind the tonsil.
Various symptoms of a tonsilar abscess include:
- pronounced, one-sided throat pain that can radiate towards the ears
- difficulty opening the mouth
- pain when swallowing
- general malaise
Diagnosis and treatment
When there is one-sided swelling of the tonsil in the mouth, a blood test is done. Sometimes, additional medical imaging is performed with a CT scan in order to rule out deeper infections/collections of pus.
The treatment of a tonsilar abscess is as follows. The acculmulated pus is drained at the hospital and additional intravenous antibiotcs are given as well as appropriate pain medication. On another occasion, a tonsillectomy may be discussed. This is an operation to remove both tonsils.
Treatment centres and specialisations
Latest publication date: 11/08/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith