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Br J Surg. 1988 Jun;75(6):563-4.

Tuberculous cervical abscess: comparing the results of total excision against simple incision and drainage.

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Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital.


In 40 patients with tuberculous cervical abscesses a prospective study was undertaken to determine the results of surgical treatment by either total excision or incision and drainage, together with 6 months of chemotherapy in both groups. While both procedures were well tolerated, the results showed that 17/22 (77 per cent) of those having a simple drainage procedure required a second operation to excise the residual infected lymph glands because of persistent sinus discharge, recurrent abscesses or enlarging lymphadenopathy. In contrast, 17/18 (94 per cent) of those having total excision as the primary procedure had no local ward problem afterwards. Most of the patients remained asymptomatic after completion of the chemotherapy but small painless lymph nodes might still be palpable during follow-up at 2 years.

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