Recipient(s) will receive an email with a link to 'Incision and Drainage of Abscesses' and will have access to the topic for 7 days.
Subject: Incision and Drainage of Abscesses
(Optional message may have a maximum of 1000 characters.)
Universal precaution materials (gown, gloves, protective eyewear)
Sterile draping towels and sterile gloves
Local anesthetic (1% or 2% lidocaine with or without epinephrine)
10-cc syringe and 25- to 30-gauge needle
Skin prep material (chlorhexidine [Hibiclens] or iodine swabs)
No. 11 or 15 blade and scalpel
Packing (plain or iodoform) ribbon gauze
Dressing (4- × 4-inch gauze pads and tape)
Palpable, fluctuant abscess
An abscess that does not resolve despite conservative measures
Large abscess (>5 mm)
Extensively large or deep abscesses or perirectal abscesses that may require surgical debridement and general anesthesia
Facial abscesses in the nasolabial folds (risk of septic phlebitis secondary to abscess drainage into the sphenoid sinus)
Hand and finger abscesses should receive surgical or orthopedic consultation
PITFALL: The environment of an abscess is acidic, which may cause local anesthetics to lose effectiveness. Use an appropriate amount of anesthetic, and allow adequate time for anesthetic effect.
PITFALL: Avoid injecting into the abscess cavity, because it may rupture downward into the underlying tissues or upward toward the provider.
PITFALL: The most common cause of abscess reoccurrence is an incision not wide enough to promote adequate drainage.
PITFALL: Inform the patient before the procedure that scarring is possible.
PITFALL: Contents of the abscess may project upward and outward when it is incised, especially if local anesthetic was inadvertently injected into (instead of around) the abscess. Use personal protective equipment to avoid self-contamination.
Pain during and after the procedure
Reoccurrence of abscess formation
Damage to nerves and vessels