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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

Topic Overview

A pocket of pus that forms during an infection of a fallopian tube and ovary is called a tubo-ovarian abscess. Tubo-ovarian abscesses can develop in women who have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

A tubo-ovarian abscess is usually diagnosed by physical exam or pelvic ultrasound. Some abscesses are found by surgical exploration of the abdomen (laparoscopy or laparotomy).

These abscesses are usually treated with antibiotics. Very large abscesses or abscesses that do not go away after antibiotic treatment may have to be drained. Draining may be done by using a large needle. The needle is guided by ultrasound or by cutting into the abscess during laparoscopy or laparotomy. Sometimes the infected tube and ovary also have to be removed surgically.

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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised October 30, 2012

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