The indication for abscess drainage is the presence of an abscess. An abscess is described as a swollen area within body tissue, containing an accumulation of pus.
An incision is made in the skin surface directly over the abscess mound, in some instances a X-shaped incision is made. Once the abscess cavity has been entered the contents is drained and the cavity rinsed with a saline and dilute hydrogen peroxide solution. The cavity is then plugged with a swab soaked with an antimicrobial emulsion. The plug is removed the next day before discharge. Your wound will not be stitched closed and will need to heal from the inside to the skin surface. This greatly reduces the chances of reformation of the abscess.
- Unintended damage to adjacent structures
- Drainage of an abscess or debridement of necrotic tissue may result in entering of bacteria and bacterial toxins into the bloodstream and thereby cause severe sepsis, for this reason a course of antibiotics is prescribed for all abscesses
- Bleeding is the most common complication but is mostly minor and hardly ever requires repeat surgery.
After your consultation:
- Obtain authorization from your medical aid and book your bed for your hospital admission.
- Carefully read through pre-operative information provided.
Day before surgery:
- Do not eat/drink after 22h00, the night before your surgery, unless otherwise specified by your surgeon or anaesthetist (you should be fasting for at least 6 hours before the procedure for solids but you are allowed to take clear liquids up to two hours before your procedure).
Day of surgery:
- Arrive for admission at indicated time on ‘Code & Consent’ sheet.
- Change into theatre attire, remove all valuable belongings.
Approximately 30-45 minutes
Duration of hospital stay:
- Usually 1 – 2 days (dependent on post-operative progress of patient and extent of the infection)
- Returning to intensive exercise is dependent on where your abscess was, please confirm when exercise may be resumed with your treating surgeon
Back to work:
- Sick leave required post-operatively is approximately 5 days in total
Some pain and discomfort post operatively may be expected following any operation, but the following measures are used to lessen the pain experienced:
- Warming devises in theatre as well as warm intravenous fluids.
- Intra-operative pain medication through the drip.
- Post-operative medication through the drip, please inform the nurses if you are in pain so that medication will be administered to you.
- As close to one week after discharge as possible. Please contact the rooms to schedule an appointment.