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Two protocols for outpatient management of peritonsillar abscess were evaluated. One group of patients was treated with traditional incision and drainage, while the second group underwent simple aspiration with an 18-gauge needle. Both study groups received penicillin, or, if allergic, erythromycin, and both groups were seen at 24 to 48 hours for repetition of the initial procedure if the abscess had reaccumulated. These patients were interviewed seven to ten days after the initial visit for confirmation of the drainage procedure's efficacy and for subjective evaluation of the duration of pharyngeal discomfort following the procedure.
Repetition of the initial drainage procedure was necessary in 20% of those patients treated with needle aspiration and in 10% of those patients undergoing incision and drainage. After needle aspiration, subjective improvement in swallowing discomfort occurred one to two days sooner, but there was no difference in the time for resolution of symptoms. S. P. Stringen
FRY TL. A Randomized Trial for Outpatient Management of Peritonsillar Abscess. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(1):19. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860010023004
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