lateropharyngeal and retropharyngeal abscesses are potentially life threatening infections in children aim: to review the etiologic, clinical, and imaging signs of lateropharyngeal and retropharyngeal abscesses in children as well as treatment-outcomes and complications using a surgical trans-oral approach. method: retrospective analysis of 11 children, hospitalized in the last 5 years, with a diagnosis of lateropharyngeal (n = 8) and retropharyngeal (n = 3) abscesses, ages ranging from 0 to 12 years old. charts and ct scans were reviewed. result: the average age of presentation was 3.3 years. neck stiffness (64%) and odynophagia (55%) were the most common symptoms. fever (64%), stiff neck (64%), bulging of the oropharyngeal wall (55%), mass in the neck (55%) and lymphadenopathy (36%) were the most prevalent physical findings. all these patients were submitted to surgical drainage using a trans-oral approach in the first 48 hours after admission. about 82% of the patients showed improvement after 48 hours, and 100% after 72 hours, without any complications. conclusion: based on the good clinical outcomes and low incidence of complications, the present study suggests that antibiotic therapy complemented with a timely surgical treatment, is a valid treatment option in refractory parapharyngeal abscesses.