14 answers

Anyone Else Heard of an Abcessed Tonsil....

I took my 3 year old son to the doctor today after several days of running a fever and complaining that his mouth hurt. When he would let us look inside we were unable to see anything. The Dr. said his right tonsil is swollen along with the area all around it including part of the roof of his mouth. It is abcessed. This is a really bad infection that usually starts out as strep. We were at the lake this weekend and my son sucks his thumb so probably picked up some bacteria then. The rapid strep test was negative but she is sending the culture to the lab. He was given two shots of an antibiotic and we have to go back tomorrow to recheck. He will either get another injection or we can start oral antibiotics. Then she said we will need to see a Ear, nose, and throat specialist and he will most likely need his tonsils removed. i was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and is the removal of the tonsils necessary?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Went back to the doctor on Friday and the swelling had gone down from 3 1/2cm to 2 1/2cm. She put him on oral medication and we go back in a week to check progress. Also made an appointment at the ENT. My son is feeling much better, in fact that night after he got the shots he had seconds on his dinner! Thank you to everyone for your responses. I am going to do some research and see what the ENT says.

More Answers

Hi L., 21 years ago when I was 21...I had absessed tonsils. I had ongoing problems with my throat, strep, bronchitis, etc. It got to be so bad that the doctor had to stick a long needle and actually withdraw all the infection from my tonsils...gross...I know...but I could have kissed him since it was an immediate release of the pain I was having! And at 21 I did have my tonsils removed and have not had a problem since. So no worries...if it's suggested they get removed, it's just to save him from a road of pain...good luck to you guys!

1 mom found this helpful

When I read your request my little brother, who happens to be a pediatrition happened to be at my house, so I presented the question to him. He said that in most cases with an absess like that they will drain it and then, after it heals, remove it. He said that you could choose not to have it removed, but your son would be prone to another absess and if there was another absess, to DEFINATELY get the tonsils taken out. I know that it's kind of scary, but if the tonsils aren't removed he will, more than likely, end up with mroe infections. I hope that your little guy heals quickly, whatever you choose to do. Good luck.

I haven't had experience with an abcessed tonsil, but if you need an ENT, I know of one in the West Valley, Dr. Gerald Altman, ###-###-####. The address is 9305 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ. He may be in another office other days of the week, but he's there on Thursdays. He's not a pediatric otolaryngolist, but he was great with my son (3-4 years when he saw him and that was recently). I saw him too and liked him, that's why I sent my son to him. He is great with kids, I thought.

Good luck. My son had to have tubes put in last year and then on our last visit this last April he had to pull them out and he was really good with him. I found him to be straightforward, and I liked that.

Awww, poor guy. Well, I had an absessed tonsil when I was a girl. It was sooo long ago so I don't remember much but I didn't get my tonsils out and I don't think they can take them out while they're absessed. As far as I know they usually don't remove tonsils unless there's a recurring problem. Hope he gets better and all goes well!

Don't get started trying to treat him with antibiotics. They will only make the infection resistant and his immune system weaker. My youngest of three sons had really bad tonsilitis from the time he was two until nearly five - and ended up needing a tonsil and adnoid-ectomy so he could breathe again. He was stopping breathing while he slept and it scared me nearly to death. The "doctor" kept prescribing stronger and stronger antibiotics until finally I insisted on seeing an ENT specialist - who looked at my son for five seconds and knew he needed the surgery. He's never had a problem since. We only us herbal remedies now. NO PHARMACEUTICALS!!! The best anti-viral, anti-bacterial HERB is called Una de Gato. I am a certified herbal consultant so if you want more info on it feel free to contact me or visit my website: www.shootingstarherbs.amazonherb.net.

When my daughter was 4 her tonsil abscessed twice. She ended up having Mono and had to have her tonsils removed. If you need and ENT I recommend John Raines,###-###-####)
he works at PCH. He took my youngest tonsils out last August and he is wonderful.
I hope your son is feeling better soon.

Hi L.,

My son had the same thing. It's called Peritonsillar Abscess. Google it so you can check the symptoms to your son's. It is really bad and extremely uncomfortable. My son was around 16 years old when he got it. He was prone to Strep but and all tests came back neg. of strep. He got a steroid shot and antibiotics and was good again in a few days. He never had his tonsils out.


YES! I have had a few kids with problems with their tonsils, and if it is infected enough to be abcessed, it has lost it's usefulness. An abcess just pours infection into his throat and can cause years and years of sickness that is unnecessary. The doctors didn't believe me and my son and he spent years documenting sicknesses that originated in his throat before they would allow us to take it out. Some of my kids still have their tonsils, and that is good, because it is obviously doing its job, which is to take on the first bit of infection away from the person. But when it becomes the infection, as in an abcess, and becomes the source of sickness, it no longers functions correctly and needs to be removed. Good luck!

Hi L.,

I'm so sorry to hear about your son. Poor little guy. If he is on antibiotics, it is very important to make sure he has "probiotics" to regrown healthy bacteria (since antibiotics destroy both bad AND good bacteria".

You may want to consider eliminating dairy and simple sugars, which tend to feed infections. For now, you can try giving him some chamomile tea with some thyme (a natural antibacterial agent) and honey (which is also antibacterial.

Best wishes to you and your son! :)

Warm Regards,
G. Van Luven, H.C.
Healthy Habits Wellness Center, LLC

My 4 year old had a similar problem. The rapid strep test was negative and they sent it off to the lab. Four days went by and he wasn't getting better so I took him back to the doctor (saw his this time) and the rapid strep came back positive. That afternoon we got a call from the first doctor's office and they said his lab culture was negative. We told them he was just tested that morning and was now positive and on anitbiotics...That was 2 months ago..He just strep again with extremely swollen tonsils. His pediatrician said it takes numerous cases before they recommend removing them because its not as beneficial as once thought to be years ago..I would be very cautious about jumping in to have them removed..Research some more and request research from the ENT doctor if he/she thinks the tonsils should be removed.

I see that you've gotten good advice, but I thought i'd throw in my 2 cents...

I always had problems with my tonsils. When I was younger, it was an occasional case of strep throat/abcessed tonsils. As I got older, I would get really bad cases of strep and laryngitis. It became such a pain in the neck! ;)
Anyways. I was also having other issues with my tonsils. They were constantly enlarged, inflamed, and just gross. I was getting sore throats on a monthly basis or even more often.

I had been worried about having my tonsils removed, but I finally saw an ENT, told him my complaints, and he said I sounded like a good candidate for tonsilectomy. I chose to have the procedure, and afterwards, he said that my tonsils were horrible, so it was a good idea.

And since then (it was 6 years ago - when I was 24), I have been GREAT! I rarely have sore throats anymore - I had one in the last 6 years. I wish I had them removed earlier.

If the doc is suggesting removal, I'd go for it. The surgery and recovery is easier when you are younger.

I am a family physician. Peritonsillar abscesses are pretty miserable. Hopefully it will go down with the antibiotic injections. Occasionally the abscesses need to be surgically lanced by an ENT. I don't think he will necessarily need his tonsils taken out, unless he has frequent, recurrent strep throat infections.

Good luck. Hope your son feels better!

I had this happen to ME but I was a young adult (20) and had to have emergency surgery. The drs. say it is much harder on an adult for this type of surgery, so if this were my child and me having been through it, too, I would have the surgery if it comes down to it. Otherwise, like me your child might keep getting strep over and over and then end up needing surgery in the future OR an emergency surgery. I know it is not fun, but kids bounce fast. Good luck, and hope your lil one gets better soon!

My son had this same exact thing. Not to scare you, but we took our son to the hospital. (Desert Banner, Childern') They stated he need surgery ASAP, because if the abcess became more inflamed it could cause serious problems. A stoke, pushing up on arteries. We asked about just giving him antiboitics, the said no they are not strong enough.
WebMd has great info. on retropharylgeal abcesses. Also, I would maybe talk to your dr & ask about serious problem if the abscess gets bigger. My son had surgery, they went via his mouth, he spent a few days in the hospital with alot of IV antibods. He did great, he has no problems and he did NOT need his tonsils removed.

I hope this helps you

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