OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and morbidity of immediate tonsillectomy used to treat peritonsillar abscess (quinsy) and parapharyngeal abscess.
SUBJECTS AND METHOD: This four-year, retrospective study was based on 31 patients hospitalised in a university hospital ENT and head and neck surgery department for peritonsillar and/or parapharyngeal abscess. All patients underwent immediate, bilateral tonsillectomy. The length of hospital stay, duration of antibiotic therapy, microbiological findings, complications, and the time to complete recovery and oropharyngeal healing were recorded.
RESULTS: The patients' mean post-tonsillectomy hospital stay was 2.84 days (median: 3 days). No post-operative haemorrhage was observed. All patients were considered to be cured at the day 10 follow-up visit, and complete oropharyngeal healing was observed at the day 21 visit. The duration of antibiotic therapy ranged from 10 to 15 days (mean: 11.5 days; median: 10 days).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Immediate tonsillectomy appears to be a safe and effective surgical technique for the management of peritonsillar and parapharyngeal abscess; in particular, it markedly reduces patients' hospital stay (when performed early in the course of the disease) and duration of antibiotic therapy. Immediate tonsillectomy has become the first-line treatment for parapharyngeal abscess and several types of peritonsillar abscess in our department.
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