Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Draining an AbscessSkip to the navigation
A pelvic abscess may be drained by needle aspiration. A needle is inserted through the abdominal or vaginal wall into the abscess. The fluid filling the abscess is drawn out (aspirated) with a syringe connected to the needle. A pelvic ultrasound or a computed tomography (CT) scan is used to guide the needle into the abscess. A tube (catheter) may be left in for a few days to allow the abscess to drain completely.
Aspiration of an abscess may be done with a local or general anesthesia. You may go home the same day, unless more treatment is needed or you are very ill.
Aspiration may be considered when the abscess:
- Has failed to shrink or continues to enlarge after 48 to 72 hours of antibiotic therapy.
- Is in the area between the vagina and rectum (cul-de-sac).
If your health professional recommends aspiration, ask about abscess recurrence rates and other risks of the procedure.
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMarch 12, 2014