abscess may be drained by needle aspiration. A needle
is inserted through the abdominal or vaginal wall into the abscess. The fluid
filling the abscess is drawn out (aspirated) with a syringe connected to the
needle. A pelvic
ultrasound or a
computed tomography (CT) scan is used to guide the
needle into the abscess. A tube (catheter) may be left in for a few days to
allow the abscess to drain completely.
Aspiration of an abscess may be done with a
local or general anesthesia. You may go home the same
day, unless more treatment is needed or you are very ill.
Aspiration may be considered when the abscess:
Has failed to shrink or continues to enlarge
after 48 to 72 hours of antibiotic therapy.
Is in the area between
the vagina and rectum (cul-de-sac).
If your health professional recommends aspiration, ask about abscess
recurrence rates and other risks of the procedure.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Kevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology