What is an abscess?
An abscess is an infected fluid collection within the body. Abscesses are the body’s normal reaction to an infection. Since the infection is inside the abscess, it must be drained to remove it and prevent it from spreading throughout the body.
Your doctor may be able to diagnose an abscess simply by your symptoms, especially if it is close to the skin. For infections that are deeper inside the body, you will likely require a diagnostic test, such as a CT scan or ultrasound. Certain blood tests can also help identify an infection, but might not help identify where in your body the infection is.
How does IR treat an abscess?
An IR can treat abscesses that do not respond to antibiotics. If the infection is deep inside the body, they can clear the infection by performing percutaneous drainage of the abscess. With the help of image guidance, a small incision is made and a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) is inserted into the abscess, and the pus inside the abscess is drained through a syringe.
Depending on the size of the abscess, the catheter may be left in place to allow continued drainage over the next several days to eliminate the infection. If you are on certain types of blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin, you may be asked to stop these medications prior to the treatment, if possible.
Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service. IYA assumes no liability, legal, financial or otherwise for the accuracy of this information or the manner in which it is used. This information is being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace professional medical advice from your physician or qualified health care professional.