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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2011 Jul;93(5):353-5. doi: 10.1308/003588411X579793.

Peritonsillar abscess after tonsillectomy: a review of the literature.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, UK. sejfarmer@aol.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is a common condition with a complicated aetiology. PTA after tonsillectomy is rare. This literature review of PTA in the absence of tonsil tissue aims to collate experience of these cases and examine the wider implications for understanding the aetiology of PTA formation.

METHODS:

A structured literature review was performed using Ovid MEDLINE®. Keywords 'quinsy' or 'peritonsillar abscess' were combined with 'tonsillectomy'.

RESULTS:

The search resulted in 212 citations and the identification of 11 cases of PTA formation in the absence of tonsil tissue. The most common indication for tonsillectomy was recurrent tonsillitis or PTA. Nine patients had no interval peritonsillar infection (ie a peritonsillar infection after a tonsillectomy) prior to presenting with the PTA. The mean interval between tonsillectomy and PTA was 16 years. All patients were managed either by incision and drainage or by needle aspiration with or without antibiotics.

CONCLUSIONS:

PTA in the absence of tonsil tissue is rare. Potential sources of infection include congenital branchial fistulas, Weber's glands and dental disease. These alternatives should also be considered in patients presenting with PTA formation in the absence of concurrent tonsillitis and may influence management decisions.

Comment in

PMID:
21943456
PMCID:
PMC3365450
DOI:
10.1308/003588411X579793
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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