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Abscess incision and drainage

You can get an abscess anywhere in your body, which can cause a painful lump and can make you feel unwell.

An abscess is a collection of pus surrounded by a wall of tissue. It causes a painful lump and can make you feel unwell. An abscess happens when your body tries to control infection by forming a wall around an infected area. Pus forms within this wall. As the amount of pus increases, the lump grows and causes pain. You can get an abscess anywhere in your body.

You should no longer have the abscess and should be free of pain. Surgery should prevent the serious complications that an abscess can cause.

If an abscess is small, antibiotics may work but will not be effective in most cases. Sometimes draining the pus with a needle can help but the pus may come back.

A small abscess can be drained under a local anaesthetic, but most need a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes 10 to 20 minutes. Your surgeon will make a cut on your skin over the abscess. This allows the pus to drain out. Once the pus has been removed, the cavity needs to heal upwards from the inside out, so the opening in your skin is left open. If the cavity is deep, your surgeon will place a pack (antiseptic dressing) in it to keep it open, allowing pus to drain out and your wound to heal properly.

Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications that can be serious and can even cause death. Please bear in mind the general and specific complications regarding this type of operation.

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring of the skin
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

  • The abscess keeps coming back
  • Slow healing, if your wound was packed

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after. Depending on your recovery after the operation, your doctor will tell you when you can return to work. However, most people make a full recovery and can return to normal activities.

An abscess is a collection of pus that can make you feel unwell. Surgery should prevent the serious complications that an abscess can cause. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337.

Authors: Mr Ayan Banerjea FRCS (Gen. Surg.), Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)

Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright © Medical-Artist.com

Abscess drainage or blood clot collection

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £1,764 Included £1,764
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £1,964

Specialists Offering Abscess incision and drainage

Mr Petr Hanek

Consultant General / Colorectal Surgeon

BMI The Blackheath Hospital 1 more BMI Chelsfield Park Hospital

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Mr Nitin Modi

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MS Orthopaedics FRCS (T&O), MS Orthopaedics, MRCS, FCPS Orthopaedics, Diploma Orthopaedics

BMI St Edmunds Hospital

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Mr Maher Hamish

Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon

MD, MSc, EBTS, EBVS, FRCS

BMI Three Shires Hospital

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Dr Jawaharlal Senaratne

Consultant General & Vascular Surgeon

MB, BS, MS, FRCS (Eng), D.Phil (Oxon), FRCS (Gen Surg)

BMI The Chaucer Hospital

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Dr Vinod Elangasinghe

Consultant Dermatologist

MBBS, FRCP, MRCP Derm UK

BMI Thornbury Hospital

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Mr Sasindran Ramar

Consultant General, Upper GI, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon

MS, FRCS

BMI The Blackheath Hospital

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