Reduction of postoperative pain is an important goal in the perioperative management of tonsillectomy patients. This is particularly the case for children, who often exhibit resistance to intramuscular or rectal administration of drugs. Peritonsillar bupivacaine infiltration, a relatively safe method of pain control, is in some centers frequently used by otolaryngologists for pain relief. We present the case of a 5-year-old girl who developed bilateral vocal cord paralysis following preoperative peritonsillar bupivacaine infiltration. After an uneventful tonsillectomy and extubation, stridor and respiratory distress developed. Bilateral vocal cord paralysis was seen on laryngoscopy. The patient was reintubated and five hours later was successfully extubated without further sequelae. Anesthesiologists and surgeons should be aware of this uncommon complication than can occur with the use of peritonsillar bupivacaine infiltration for pain control in tonsil surgery.
- Peritonsillar infiltration
- Vocal cord paralysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine