Retropharyngeal (reh-tro-fah-RIN-jee-ul) abscess is an area of infected, pus-filled
tissue that forms in the deep tissues in the back of the throat. An abscess
is a collection of pus made up of white blood cells, debris, and germs that cause
More to Know
In the back of the throat, there is a structure called the pharynx, which
sits behind the nasal cavity and the mouth. The pharynx helps to assist in breathing,
eating, and talking. Behind the pharynx in the deeper tissues is a layer of soft tissue
called the retropharyngeal space. An abscess in this space is usually a complication
of a tonsil, sinus,
or ear infection.
Retropharyngeal abscess can cause pain, difficulty swallowing, drooling, neck stiffness,
and breathing difficulties.
Keep in Mind
Retropharyngeal abscess is a serious infection that may be life threatening if
left untreated. It can usually be treated with antibiotics and by a surgical procedure
that involves draining the abscess. It's important to treat retropharyngeal abscess
early, before the infection spreads or causes difficulty breathing. If you have concerns,
see a doctor right away.
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