A peritonsillar abscess is a collection of pus that forms in tissues
tonsils. Although uncommon, it can occur as a result
strep throat. The abscess can cause severe pain and an
inability to swallow, and you may become very ill.
A peritonsillar abscess may be diagnosed and treated with either a needle
aspiration or a small incision. A needle aspiration is a procedure that uses a needle to drain the abscess. A course of
antibiotics is given after the procedure. If a needle aspiration is not used, a peritonsillar abscess
may be treated with a simple procedure in which a small incision is made in the
abscess to drain it, followed by a course of antibiotics.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare infection that's often described in media reports as a condition involving "flesh-eating bacteria." It can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Necrotizing fasciitis spreads quickly and aggressively in an infected person. It causes tissue death at the infection site and beyond.
Every year, between 600 and 700 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. About 25% to 30% of those cases result in death. It rarely occurs in children.
For adults who do not need to be sedated with a
general anesthetic, the procedure may be done in the
doctor's office. If the person or child needs general anesthetic, the procedure
is done in a hospital or
Surgery to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be done if you are
concerned that the peritonsillar abscess will recur. But tonsillectomy is
not necessary if you've only had one abscess. Most people who have had an abscess do not have another one.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
July 27, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 27, 2010
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