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Neck Abscesses

A neck abscess or deep neck infection is a collection of pus that originates from an infection in spaces between the structures of the neck such as the throat, tongue, and windpipe. Children are especially vulnerable to these kinds of infections, which often follow a bacterial or viral infection of the neck or head. Colds, flu, tonsillitis, sinus infections and ear infections can all precipitate an abscess.

Symptoms of a neck abscess may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Ear pain
  • Body aches and chills
  • Lump in the neck
  • Inflamed, red, swollen throat or floor of the mouth
  • Lump in the back of the throat
  • Tongue pushed back against throat
  • Difficulty swallowing and/or painful swallowing
  • “Hot potato” voice (i.e., the speech someone would have with a scalding potato in his or her mouth)

A physical examination is usually sufficient to diagnose a neck abscess.  Occasionally, cultures, blood tests, and radiographic studies may be useful diagnostic tools.

Treatment of neck abscesses usually involves oral or intravenous antibiotics coupled with a needle aspiration or surgical drainage procedure to drain the pus. Warm soaks are also helpful.  Dr. Yagoda can determine which treatments will work best for each individual. Call our office today to schedule your comprehensive consultation.

Read about Dr. Yagoda’s Integrative Post Operative Care Program