A peritonsillar abscess is a collection of pus that forms in tissues around the tonsils. It can occur as a result of strep throat or another infection. An abscess can cause severe pain and make it very hard to swallow.
Your child will need antibiotics. In some cases, the abscess will have been drained through a needle or small incision.
Your child may have had a sedative to help him or her relax. Your child may be unsteady after having sedation. It takes time (sometimes a few hours) for the medicine's effects to wear off. Common side effects of sedation include nausea, vomiting, and feeling sleepy or cranky.
The doctor has checked your child carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Q030 in the search box to learn more about "Peritonsillar Abscess in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: May 12, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
©2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.