Is surgical drainage necessary in the ED treatment of uncomplicated peritonsillar abscess?

Updated: Apr 06, 2020
  • Author: Udayan K Shah, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

A study by Battaglia et al indicated that medical therapy alone for uncomplicated peritonsillar abscess presenting in the emergency department is equally as effective as medical treatment plus surgery but is also associated with less pain and opioid use and fewer days off from work. This was particularly true in patients presenting without trismus. Medical treatment included the use of intravenous (IV) fluids, weight-appropriate IV ceftriaxone, clindamycin, and dexamethasone, with the patients subsequently discharged on clindamycin for 10 days. Surgical treatment consisted of drainage. [16]


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