Issue N# 3 - 2016
Cervical approach to a lingual abscess: Case report
Authors : Potena M, Placentino A. (Termoli)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2016;137,3:77-80.
Article published in english
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Objectives: Abscess of the tongue is a rare but life-threatening medical condition, as it can quickly compromise the airways. The treatment is normally based on antibiotic therapy and oral punction and/or drainage. We describe here a case report of a patient who underwent drainage by cervicotomy after failure by standard treatment based on the oral approach. Case report: A 29 year-old male presented with a severe edema of the tongue and of the floor of the mouth, extending to the epiglottic valleculae bilaterally. CT scan showed a circumscribed mass compatible with a lingual abscess. The difficulty of exposing the base of the tongue in suspension laryngoscopy did not allow us to perform a drainage orally. Discussion: A cervical submandibular incision and drainage effectively prevented airways complications, allowing total recovery of the patient. In case of difficult or unsuccessful oral approach, we suggest to quickly consider cervicotomy as an effective surgical option.
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