The development of pus in the context of pharyngeal abscess
The severe inflammation caused by an abscess in the pharynx results in pus, which is composed of dead inflammatory cells, bacteria and lost cell components of the infected tissue. The formation of pus is part of the body’s natural defence reaction against the infection. The body forms a capsule of connective tissue around the site of pus and thereby attempts to contain the infection. The bacteria in the pus accumulations can cause severe bad breath.
Therapy of a throat abscess
In the case of severe unilateral sore throat and a long-lasting swelling of the neck, an abscess in the throat may be suspected. In such a case, it is essential to consult a doctor so that the abscess can be treated as quickly as possible and the infection can be prevented from spreading to healthy tissue. An abscess in the revenge room must be surgically removed.
During surgery, the abscess is cut open and the accumulated pus is suctioned off. This prevents the inflammation from spreading further. The surgeon removes all dead tissue and disinfects the wound with an antiseptic solution.
The wound is not sutured, but remains open. The purpose of keeping the wound open is to prevent the reappearance of an abscess cavity. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is performed under general anaesthesia. If the operation goes without complications (e.g. postoperative bleeding, wound healing disorders or injuries to nerves in the throat area), the patient can leave the hospital after three to four days of inpatient treatment. Following the surgical splitting of the abscess, the patient is given antibiotic therapy to combat the pathogen causing the infection and prevent the re-accumulation of pus.
When will surgery be necessary?
An abscess in the throat can be life-threatening. It is problematic if the abscess is located near blood vessels in the throat, as the infection can then break through into the vessel. This can lead to life-threatening blood poisoning (sepsis) or a brain abscess with loss of brain tissue.
The inflammation can also spread through the throat into the chest and affect the lungs or heart. Accordingly, abscesses in the throat must be treated as emergencies and must be surgically treated immediately. During an operation, the abscess is opened and the pus is sucked out. In cases where the tonsils are also affected by the inflammation, they must also be removed.
Duration of the disease with a throat abscess
If the abscess in the throat is treated correctly, the prognosis is good and the inflammation heals completely. Nevertheless, an abscess in the throat is a relatively protracted disease and it can take several weeks for the abscess to heal completely and the symptoms to disappear completely. In rare cases, the abscess may reappear in the same place and require a second operation.