What preparations are needed prior to performing peritonsillar abscess drainage?

Updated: May 09, 2018
  • Author: Jeffrey D Suh, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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See the list below:

  • Explain the procedure, benefits, risks, and complications to the patient and/or the patient's representative and obtain a signed informed consent.

  • Ask the patient and/or the patient's representative if they would like others to be present for the procedure.

  • Ensure that adequate lighting is available.

  • Ask the patient to assume the preferred upright seated position.

  • An oral suction system should be available to prevent aspiration of abscess contents into the patient's airway. Turn the suction system on and test for adequate suction strength.

  • Using direct visualization at all times, anesthetize the suspected area of the peritonsillar abscess. The anesthetics most commonly used are local anesthetics with or without benzocaine spray. (Benzocaine spray is sometimes used alone during the needle aspiration technique.)

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