Incision and Drainage of a Skin Abscess
(Skin Abscess, Incision and Drainage)
|Incision and Drainage|
Reasons for Procedure
- Diabetes or other conditions that weaken the immune system
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Your doctor will examine the abscess.
- An ultrasound or other imaging method may be used if the abscess is large or deep. Blood tests may also be used to find out how severe the infection is.
- Your doctor may make sure your tetanus immunizations are current.
Description of Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Take all medicine as directed. If you are taking an antibiotic, take it at the same time(s) each day. Finish the entire course.
- Change your bandages as directed. Wash the wound as directed by your doctor. Replace bandages with sterile bandages that your doctor gives you.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- You may need to limit movement of the affected area to give it time to heal.
- Follow up with your doctor as directed.
Call Your Doctor
- Worsening pain
- Fever and chills
- Rash or hives
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
American College of Surgeons http://www.facs.org
Canadian Association of Wound Care http://www.cawc.net
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.ca
Boil. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2012. Accessed December 11, 2012.
Fitch M, Manthey D, et al. Abscess incision and drainage. NEJM. 2007;357:19
Prevention of surgical site infections: Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections in Massachusetts. AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?doc%5Fid=12921&nbr=6635&ss=6&xl=999. Accessed December 11, 2012.
University at Buffalo (The State University of New York). Abscess incision and drainage. University at Buffalo (The State University of New York) website. Available at: http://apps.med.buffalo.edu/procedures/abscess.asp?p=1. Accessed December 11, 2012.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/13/2014 -