Sussex ENT: Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust
Worthing and Southlands Hospital

Quinsy (Peritonsillar abcess)

What is a Quinsy?

A Quinsy is a collection of pus (abcess) which has formed behind a Tonsil. Commonly this occurs with an episode of Tonsillitis. The symptoms are similar to tonsillitis but more severe. Eating and drinking becomes difficult due to increased swelling and also restricted mouth opening. It becomes very important to see a doctor as this often leads to dehydration.


How do you treat a Quinsy?

A Quinsy needs to be seen by an ENT specialist at hospital as soon as possible. The initial treatment is to drain the collection. With some local anaesthetic a needle or small cut drains the pus, most patients feel more comfortable very soon after this.
Most people are admitted to hospital afterwards to receive antibiotics, analgesia and fluids if they are dehydrated. Once you are feeling better and taking medications by mouth you can be discharged from hospital, usually the next day.

Will I need my Tonsils Taken out (Tonsillectomy)?

Not necessarily. Most people that have one episode of Quinsy will not have further episodes and a tonsillectomy would not be needed. However after a second episode it is very likely to occur again, therefore you would be offered a Tonsillectomy.