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Surgery for an abscess

An abscess is a collection of purulent material (‘pus’) due to an infection. They occur for many different reasons:

  • Infected hair follicles
  • Infected sebaceous cyst
  • Infection at a cut, wound or surgical site
  • Infection at the top of the natal cleft (bottom) (pilonidal abscess)
  • Infection of glands around the anus (perianal abscess)

Abscesses have a central cavity filled with purulent material. Antibiotics help to treat the infection but sometimes will not be enough to clear the infection.  Most abscesses requiring a presentation to hospital need to be surgically drained under general anaesthetic.

Usually after drainage and antibiotics, you will be sent home on oral antibiotics. If there is an open wound, Dr Lancashire may place some packing (gauze) in there to help keep it clean and prevent another abscess. This may need to be changed by your local doctor, community nurses or by Dr Lancashire himself every couple of days.

Dr Lancashire will give you clear instructions about how your wounds need to be managed.