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Is ultrasonography-guided drainage a safe and effective alternative to incision and drainage for deep neck space abscesses?

  • P Dabirmoghaddam (a1), A Mohseni (a1) (a2), Z Navvabi (a1), A Sharifi (a1) (a2), S Bastaninezhad (a1) and A Safaei (a1)...



Deep neck space abscesses are common head and neck surgery emergencies. Traditionally, surgical incision and drainage has been the main treatment for deep neck abscesses. Recently, it has been suggested that ultrasound-guided drainage of neck abscesses can be an effective and less invasive alternative to incision and drainage.


Patients with deep neck space abscesses referred to the emergency department of Amiralam Hospital were assessed and enrolled to the study if they met the inclusion criteria. Patients were randomly assigned to incision and drainage or ultrasound-guided drainage groups using sealed envelopes.


Sixty patients were evaluated, with 30 patients in each group. There was a significant difference (p < 0.001) in mean length of hospital stay between patients who underwent ultrasound-guided drainage (5.47 days) and those who underwent incision and drainage (9.70 days).


Ultrasound-guided drainage is an effective and safe procedure, leading to shorter hospital stay, and thus may be a suitable alternative to incision and drainage of deep neck abscesses.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Alireza Mohseni, Otolaryngology Research Center, Amiralam Hospital, South Saadi Avenue, Enqelab Street, Tehran, Iran E-mail:


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