Phlegmon: what is this disease that Nicolas Sarkozy kept secret?

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In his new book Time of Storms published by Editions de l’Observatoire, the former President of the Republic looks back on the turbulent beginnings of his five-year term, his divorce from Cécilia Attias, his meeting with his wife Carla Bruni but also a health problem that he held until now secret and which he had to face several years ago.

The politician reveals to have undergone an important medical intervention, three days after his divorce from Cécilia Attias, because he suffered from phlegmon in the throat. “What I was suffering from was very painful, but did not call into question my aptitude to exercise my function. If I am telling this today, it is to show that in certain respects the daily life of a President is no different from that of the French “, explained Nicolas Sarkozy in an interview with Paris Match.

“I was coming out of an official rugby match, I had a sore throat, I was a million miles from thinking it was serious. When the doctor said to me ‘We have to take you to the hospital’ , I refused at first. Then in Val-de-Grâce, I was diagnosed with phlegmon, I then understood that it was serious “, confided the predecessor of François Hollande. The former President of the Republic was more precisely affected by a tonsillar phlegnom. This disease, from which he suffered, mainly affects young adults, although everyone can be affected by this condition.

Phlegmon: what is it?

Tonsil phlegmon is a painful condition that requires urgent medical attention. It is characterized by an abscess, namely a local accumulation of pus, in the throat and more precisely in the tonsils. When a person has this condition, inflammation of the connective tissue of the amygdala and the constrictor muscle of the pharynx occurs.

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What are the causes of phlegmon?

Tonsil phlegmon is the result of a complicated condition affecting the tonsils. This pathology usually presents itself in people with recurrent pharyngitis, angina or chronic tonsillitis.

What are the symptoms of phlegmon?

Tonsillar phlegmon manifests itself by:

  • A severe, one-sided sore throat
  • Hypersalivation
  • Swelling of the soft palate
  • Pain in the ear
  • A change in voice
  • High fever
  • A trismus, in other words a contracture of the jaw
  • A deviation of the tonsil towards the inside of the throat
  • A deviation of the uvula on the healthy side
  • Hypersensitivity of the lymph node region located under the jaw
  • Significant difficulty swallowing
  • Significant fatigue

Phlegmon: how to diagnose it?

If these symptoms appear, it is advisable to consult your doctor quickly so that he can establish a diagnosis through a clinical examination. The practitioner will confirm the diagnosis using characteristic signs, such as soft palate edema or a deviation of the amygdala to the healthy side.

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How to treat phlegmon?

To treat tonsil phlegmon, the pus should be drained quickly. This is why patients are hospitalized urgently. In the event of a large abscess, surgery, performed under local or general anesthesia, is necessary to remove the abscess and restore swallowing. In this case, the surgeon may make an incision of the abscess, remove the tonsils, or puncture the abscess. On the other hand, if the patient does not have complications, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection and corticosteroids to decrease inflammation and reduce pain.

 

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