The indication for tonsillectomy in children following peritonsillar abscess

Michael Wolf*, Iris Even-Chen, Yoav P. Talmi, Jona Kronenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The clinical course of 19 consecutive children treated for peritonsillar abscess (PTA), in the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, between 1988-1992 was retrospectively reviewed. The abscess was drained through an incision (12 children) and by needle aspiration (7 children), under local (11 children) or general (8 children) anesthesia. One child suffered from recurrent bouts of tonsillitis after the abscess resolved and eventually underwent tonsillectomy. Two others, with a pre-PTA history of recurrent tonsillitis (T+) underwent interval tonsillectomy. Recurrent PTA did not develop in any of the 16 non-operated children. The involvement of mainly older children can explain both the low rate of the pre-PTA history of T+ and the number of children whose abscess could be drained under local anesthesia. Tonsillectomy should be indicated in cases of recurrent PTA or in children with a pre-PTA history of T+. The need for general anesthesia for draining the abscess in young children does not seem, in itself, to warrant a routine hot tonsillectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-46
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • Drainage
  • Peritonsillar abscess
  • Recurrency
  • Tonsillectomy


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