What is Drainage?

Percutaneous Abscess Drainage is the draining of abscesses or infected fluid collections through the skin. Interventional drainage processes avoid the need for major open surgery in the removal of infected fluid cavities. Ultrasound or CT is used to identify abscesses and provide image guidance for the insertion of needles, usually in the abdomen, chest or pelvis. The drainage catheter is coiled into the abscess and monitored through CT imaging to ensure that the abscess is being drained adequately.

What is it used for?

Percutaneous Abscess Drainage is primarily used for the removal of abscesses. Abscesses often result in bodily pain, chills or fever. While antibiotics can also be used for abscess treatment, drainage is more effective against larger abscesses.

What are the benefits and risks of drainage?

In comparison to open surgery, percutaneous abscess drainage results in less recovery time, hospital stay and pain. While the intravenous needle insertion carries the risk of infection, the chance of needing further antibiotic treatment is less than 0.1%. The biggest challenge in abscess drainage is the proper placement of the catheter. Occasionally the radiologist may need to arrange another way of draining the abscess, such as surgery.