Outlook for a Peritonsillar Abscess
People with an uncomplicated, well-treated peritonsillar abscess usually recover fully. If you don't have chronic tonsillitis (in which your tonsils regularly become inflamed), the chance of the abscess returning is only 10%, and removing your tonsils is usually not necessary.
Most complications occur in people with diabetes, in people whose immune systems are weakened (such as those with AIDS, transplant recipients on immune-suppressing drugs, or cancer patients), or in those who don't recognize the seriousness of the illness and do not seek medical attention.
Major complications of a peritonsillar abscess include:
- Airway blockage
- Bleeding from erosion of the abscess into a major blood vessel
- Dehydration from difficulty swallowing
- Infection in the tissues beneath the breastbone
- Sepsis (bacteria in the bloodstream)