Peritonsillar abscess surgery

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Prince Tano Djan, BSc, MBChB [2]


Medical therapy is the first liine treatment modality for peritonsillar abscess. Incision and drainage, or tonsillectomy are surgical modalities in the management of peritonsillar abscess. Well formed abscess must be incised and drained and antibiotic therapy continued. Tonsillectomy is indicated in peritonsillar abscess in severe upper airway obstruction, previous episodes of severe recurrent pharyngitis or peritonsillar abscess and in unresolving peritonsillar abscess after antibiotics and incision and drainage.[1][2][3][4]


Surgical modalities in the management of peritonsillar abscess involve the use of the following:

  • Well formed abscess must be incised and drained and antibiotic therapy continued.

Indications for tonsillectomy in peritonsillar abscess

The following are the indications for tonsillectomy in patients with peritonsillar abscess.[1][2][3][4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Windfuhr JP (2016). "Indications for tonsillectomy stratified by the level of evidence". GMS Curr Top Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 15: Doc09. doi:10.3205/cto000136. PMC 5169082. PMID 28025609.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mcleod R, Brahmabhatt P, Owens D (2016). "Tonsillectomy is not a procedure of limited value - the unseen costs of tonsillitis and quinsy on hospital bed consumption". Clin Otolaryngol. doi:10.1111/coa.12773. PMID 27754588.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Windfuhr JP (2016). "[Evidence-based Indications for Tonsillectomy]". Laryngorhinootologie. 95 Suppl 1: S38–87. doi:10.1055/s-0041-109590. PMID 27128404.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rasp G (2015). "[Tonsillectomy]". Laryngorhinootologie. 94 (4): 218–9. doi:10.1055/s-0035-1548998. PMID 25837365.

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