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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2014, Article ID 746152, 2 pages
Case Report

Cervicofacial Surgical Emphysema following Tonsillectomy

ENT Department, Freeman Hospital, Freeman Road, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN, UK

Received 24 October 2013; Accepted 17 November 2013; Published 8 May 2014

Academic Editors: R.-S. Jiang and R. Mora

Copyright © 2014 Samir Yelnoorkar and Wolfgang Issing. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report the case of a patient who developed cervicofacial subcutaneous emphysema following a routine tonsillectomy. An 18-year-old male with swallowing difficulties underwent a tonsillectomy and developed swelling of the right side of his neck and face 36 hours after surgery. A neck X-ray revealed subcutaneous emphysema. Unlike similar previously published cases, there were no postoperative issues of coughing, straining, or use of positive pressure ventilation. The complication also occurred after a considerable length of time. Further complications may include pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum and these should be excluded.