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Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2011;6(3):249-252.
Published online July 30, 2011.
Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum complicating tonsillectomy: A case report
Dong Ha Lee, Eun Ju Kim, Ji Hyang Lee, Sang Gon Lee, Jong Seouk Ban, Byung Woo Min
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Daegu Fatima Hospital, Daegu, Korea. kej1127@fatima.or.kr
Abstract
Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum are an unusual complication following tonsillectomy. We present a 50-year-old male patient who, after receiving tonsillectomy, developed painful swelling of the cheek and neck. We experienced a case in which subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum and a deep defect in the tonsillar fossa were observed. These complications resolved 5 days later with conservative treatment, including broad-spectrum antibiotics. This case serves as a reminder that unusual and unexpected complications can occur during a routine procedure. Methods to prevent this complication are discussed.
Key Words: Pneumomediastinum, Subcutaneous emphysema, Tonsillectomy


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