What is the role of needle aspiration in the management of peritonsillar abscess (PTA)?

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

When PTA is suspected, aspiration with a needle may be attempted to confirm the diagnosis and to remove some of the purulence. The area of the PTA is first anesthetized by infiltration with local anesthetic or by spray or sponge application of topical anesthesia (eg, Americaine, benzocaine). Sedation may be helpful but should be administered only in a facility that is appropriately staffed and equipped.


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