Percutaneous Abscess Drainage: Benefits and Risks

An abscess refers to an infection collection of fluids within the human body. Generally, people suffering from abscess would experience pain, fever and chills in the region which is involved. After diagnosing the abscess, the interventional radiologist and physician decide which therapy is suitable.

Percutaneous abscess drainage is a minimally invasive therapy utilized for treatment of abscess. In this therapy, the physicians utilize an imaging guidance like computed tomography (CT) scanning for placing a thin needle in order to drain out or remove the abscess (infected fluid) from a specific area of human body such as abdomen, pelvis or chest. At times, the abscess which could be cured by percutaneous drainage might need an extensive surgical drainage.

Normally, the therapy is utilized for removal of infected fluid from pelvis and abdomen. An abscess could be the result of a surgery or an infection like appendicitis. However, in rare cases the therapy might be used in the chest or any other part of human body.

The percutaneous abscess drainage is performed using a catheter, a thin and  long plastic tube. In general, imaging guidance techniques like ultrasound, CT or X-ray fluoroscopic imaging are utilized.

  • Eliminates the need for surgical incision.
  • A minimally invasive procedure with a shorter recovery period.
  • The risk of allergic reaction due to the injection of contrast material.
  • In certain cases, bleeding might take place.
  • Risk of infection
Generally, the patients undergoing percutaneous abscess drainage remain hospitalized for some days. Thereafter, the follow-up takes place on outpatient basis.


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