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J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007 Nov;34(6):799-802. Korean. Case Report.
Ha YI , Park ES .
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Gyeonggi, Korea.

PURPOSE: The masserteric space is an important tissue compartment of the face, but a disease in it is difficult to diagnose and treat. The submasseteric abscess is located between the masseter muscle and mandibular ramus with different appearances such as sepsis, infection, or tumor. Especially the common misdiagnosis of submasseteric abscess is acute or chronic parotitis. The purpose of this report is to pay special attention to the possible diagnosis of submasseteric abscess for the symptoms of unilateral cheek swelling and tenderness that accompany marked trismus. METHODS: A 11-year-old boy came to our hospital because of facial swelling, tenderness, and trismus in a history of left cheek swelling and toothache. We diagnosed his case as submasseteric abscess by CT scan and surgical intervention was performed. Under general anesthesia, the abscess was opened by the intraoral incision and considerably massive pus was drained. RESULTS: Swelling, tenderness, and trismus became to subside during postoperative 10 days and general condition and vital signs became stable. After 6 months, CT scan showed that both masseteric muscles were symmetric and there was no periosteal reaction of the mandible. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, submasseteric abscess is a rare infection with the symptoms of cheek tenderness and marked trismus. A detailed medical history and clinical examination of a patient as well as computed tomography(CT) are important tools in the accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment of the submasseteric abscess. Adequate drainage, removal of cause, and antibiotic infusion are the management of choice.

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