Title:
Subcutaneous emphysema and mediastinitis: Unusual complications of tonsillec- tomy
Authors:
C. Gillot, S. Tombu, V. Crestani, P. Huvelle, P. Moreau
Institutions:
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, C.H.U. Li├Ęge
Keywords:
Tonsillectomy; subcutaneous emphysema; mediastinitis
Pages:
197 - 200
Abstract:
Subcutaneous emphysema and mediastinitis: Unusual complications of tonsillectomy: Introduction : Subcutaneous emphysema and mediastinitis are rarely reported complications of tonsillectomy. Case report: We describe two patients who developed subcutaneous emphysema, one of them with mediastinitis, with- in a few days after tonsillectomy. The diagnosis was based on the clinical presentation and confirmed by computed tomography (CT). For the patient without mediastinitis, the emphysema disappeared after a short period of reintubation and administration of antibiotics. For the patient with mediastinitis, surgical drainage of a cervico-mediastinal purulent collection was necessary to obtain healing. Discussion: The events leading to subcutaneous emphysema and mediastinitis have not been entirely clarified. They probably include direct introduction of air into the neck via either the tonsillar bed or a laryngeal or pharyngeal wound caused by intubation. The clinical presentation, treatment and possible pathophysiology of subcutaneous emphysema and medisastinits are discussed. Conclusion: Emphysema and mediastinitis after tonsillectomy occur seldomly. If rapidly recognised and appropriately managed, mortality can be avoided.
Issue:
Vol. 1, 2005, 4th trimester


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Subcutaneous emphysema and mediastinitis: Unusual complications of tonsillec- tomy