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Treatment of chronic nasopharyngitis with monopolar suction diathermy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 October 2009

J Bartley*
Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Manukau Superclinic Counties-Manukau District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand
C Barber
Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Starship Hospital, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand
Address for correspondence: Dr Jim Bartley, 10 Owens Rd, Epsom, Auckland 1023, New Zealand. Fax: +649 631 0478 E-mail:



Chronic nasopharyngeal infection is rare. To our knowledge, no effective treatment for this condition has previously been described. This report documents our experience of using suction ablation diathermy in this clinical setting.


We performed a prospective review of four patients aged 23–65 years (two men and two women) who presented with chronic nasopharyngitis. Initial medical management consisted of regular saline irrigation plus a 14-day course of doxycycline 100 mg daily, combined with rifampicin 200 mg twice daily. When this proved unsuccessful, patients subsequently received a four-week course of omeprazole 40 mg daily, also unsuccessfully. Given these treatments' lack of success, surgery was undertaken.


Following suction diathermy ablation, nasopharyngeal crusting took four to six weeks to settle. After this, all patients ceased to cough up crusts or infected mucus.


Chronic nasopharyngitis is uncommon. If medical management fails, suction ablation diathermy is a useful surgical treatment option.

Short Communications
Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2009

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Presented at the Australian Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery meeting, February 2004, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


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