Abscess Drainage

What is abscess drainage?

An abscess is a collection of infected fluid (pus). To drain an abscess, a doctor may use a needle and syringe to suction the fluid or may place a drainage catheter.

How is abscess drainage performed?

The physician will use ultrasound or CT scan to locate the abscess and decide where to insert the needle. After the doctor numbs the skin, a needle will be inserted into the abscess to draw out the fluid.

The fluid will be sent to a laboratory to find out what caused the infection. Depending on the location and size of the abscess and the type of fluid obtained in the collection, the doctor may place a small catheter to allow the area to continue to drain for several days.