Several surgical methods are used to treat peritonsillar abscess, but no protocol for outpatient medical treatment has yet been published. Between February 2002 and February 2005, we treated 98 peritonsillar abscess patients with an outpatient medical regimen that involved hydration, antibiotics, steroids, and good pain control. All patients were Native Americans, who are known to have a particularly high incidence of peritonsillar abscess. The medical regimen was generally successful, as only 4 patients (4.1%) subsequently required post-treatment needle aspiration or incision and drainage. We conclude that the medical protocol described herein provides practitioners with a viable noninvasive alternative for treating peritonsillar abscess.
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