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Most of the time, this procedure can be done in your doctor’s office. Large, deep abscesses, or abscesses in sensitive areas (such as near the anus) may require treatment in the hospital.
The area will be wiped with a special cleansing fluid. Anesthesia will be applied. A small incision will be made. A syringe or catheter may be used to drain the pus from the abscess or the pus may be squeezed out. Gauze may be used to soak up the fluid. A clean water mixture will be used to flush the area.
A tool may be used to explore inside the cut. It can also help break down the abscess. A sample of the bacteria may be taken with a cotton swab for testing. Sometimes, the doctor will decide to pack the wound with clean gauze. This will help make sure the abscess does not form again. If this happens, you will come back in a day or two to remove or replace the packing. Gauze and dressing tape will be used to cover the wound.
The skin should heal completely in about 14 days. Home care will focus on pain and infection control. You may need to limit movement of the affected area to give it time to heal. Follow instructions on how to clean and replace bandages.
Abscess incision and drainage. University at Buffalo—The State University of New York website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed December 11, 2012.
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Skin abscesses, furuncles, and carbuncles. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated February 12, 2012. Accessed December 11, 2012.
Surgical site infection—prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated November 9, 2012. Accessed December 11, 2012.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
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