The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Research Article

Complications of the ‘Treatment’ of Tonsillar infection by traditional healers in Nigeria

A. Olu Ibekwea1

a1 Enugu, Nigeria


Traditional healers in Nigeria attempt to treat tonsillar infections either by performing unulectomy with a sickle knife or by digital rupture of the tonsil. These procedures result in various complications, including haemorrhage, septicaemia, cellulitis of the neck, peritonsillar and parapharyngeal abscess, upper airway obstruction, and pharyngo-larygocele with pneumothorax. These complications are illustrated with case reports. The danger of encouraging traditional healers to practise unsupervised and unscientific medicine is stressed.