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Definition of Peritonsillar abscess

Peritonsillar abscess: A collection of pus behind the tonsils that pushes one of the tonsils toward the uvula. A peritonsillar abscess is generally very painful and is usually associated with a decreased ability to open the mouth. If left untreated, the infection can spread deep in the neck, causing airway obstruction and life-threatening complications.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7449
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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