An abscess is an infected fluid collection within the body.
With the help of imaging, the surgeon places a needle or catheter through the skin into the abscess to remove or drain the infected fluid. This procedure helps with faster recovery compared to open surgical drainage.Very less complications.

The abscess may be the result of recent surgery or secondary to an infection such as appendicitis or diverticulitis. Less commonly, percutaneous abscess drainage may be used in the chest or elsewhere in the body. An abscess can form as your body's defences try to kill these germs with your inflammatory response

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Percutaneous abscess drainage uses imaging guidance to place a needle or catheter through the skin into the abscess to remove or drain the infected fluid.


Common Symptoms are 

  • The sore is larger than 1 cm or ½ inch across.
  • The sore fails to heal or it continues to expand and becomes more painful.
  • Fever develops and continues
  • There is a spreading red streak on the skin originating from the abscess.
  • Painful and warm to touch


  • Patients who undergo this procedure are usually hospitalized
  • Several days prior to the procedure the patient may need to stop certain medication as prescribed by the surgeon
  • Overnight fasting is recommended


  • A very small skin incision is made at the site.
  • Using image-guidance to place a catheter (a long, thin, hollow plastic tube) through the skin and into the abscess to allow for drainage of the infected fluid.
  • Once in place, the catheter is connected to a drainage bag outside of your body.The catheter will remain in place until the fluid has stopped draining and your infection is gone. 
  • It may take several days to drain the abscess.

Post Surgical Care

  • Mobilisation with a drain should be encouraged to reduce risk of DVT as soon as Patient is ready to move around.?-At all times, ensure drainage tube is not entangled
  • Monitor and mark dressings to ensure minimal leakage, replace dressings as required to minimise risk of infection
  • Wash your hands before touching your incision or the drain.
  • Cleanse the area around the drain gently in the shower with a mild soap and rinse well. 
  • Avoid bathing in a tub when you have an incision that has not completely healed .
  • Pay attention to the type and amount of drainage that is coming out, it may be bloody, a clear serous fluid, or it may be colored drainage that indicates infection which need to be reported to the Dr.
  • Preventing infection is key, but if you see redness of the skin, if the drainage has a bad smell or alarming colors, call your surgeon and report the issue. 
  • Dressing should be removed when the wound has healed (5-7 days).


  • The chance of infection requiring antibiotic treatment 
  • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected.
  • Occasionally bleeding may occur.
  • The catheter placed at the time of percutaneous abscess drainage may become blocked or displaced requiring manipulation or changing of the catheter.
  • At times, a very large or complex fluid collection may require more than one abscess drain.

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