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Cyst abscess drainage: Cyst & Abscess Removal | Physicians Immediate Care

Cyst & Abscess Removal | Physicians Immediate Care

Cysts and abscesses are fluid-filled lumps that can form anywhere on the body. To the untrained eye, they can be hard to tell apart. Both cysts and abscesses can be uncomfortable, and may require medical treatment.

What is a cyst?

Cysts are sacs or cavities filled with fluid or pus. They can appear on your skin or anywhere inside your body. Some common types are the baker’s cyst (behind the knee), sebaceous cyst (under the skin), and ganglion cyst (along the tendons or joints of your wrists, hands, or feet).

The cells that make up a cyst’s sac are different from those around them, but they usually aren’t cancerous. Cysts grow slowly and are not typically painful. A cyst is not considered a medical problem unless it bothers you or becomes sore or infected.

What is an abscess?

An abscess is a tender, infected area filled with pus. Abscesses form when your immune system fights an infection in one of your bodily tissues.

Like cysts, abscesses can occur on your skin or inside your body. However, because abscesses involve infection, they are warm, painful, irritated, and often red and swollen. The surrounding area is usually colored from pink to deep red, and the infection can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body. An abscess can form on its own or can occur when a cyst becomes infected.

How to treat a cyst or abscess at home

One of the best things you can do to treat a cyst or abscess at home is to hold a warm, moist cloth on the area for 20 minutes at a time, a few times daily. This may soothe the area, stimulate infection-fighting antibodies and white blood cells, and help the area heal.

It’s not advisable to try draining a cyst or abscess yourself. Cyst popping at home can cause infection. Instead, keep the area clean, and make an appointment with a doctor if the area is painful or starts to drain.

How can a physician treat my cyst or abscess?

If you have a cyst or abscess that is bothering you, visit a medical provider to have it examined. At Physicians Immediate Care, most cysts and abscesses are drained and removed using one of the following two procedures:

Fine needle aspiration

In a fine needle aspiration procedure, a thin needle is inserted into the cyst, after the area has been numbed. Your medical provider will drain the cyst’s fluids through the needle. Patients typically experience no discomfort to minimal discomfort during the procedure.

Incision and drainage

With an incision and drainage procedure, your medical provider will start by numbing the area with a local anesthetic. He or she will make a small incision into the abscess using a scalpel or needle. The pus will then be drained from the abscess, and some of the discharge may be collected for testing. Once the abscess has been drained, the medical provider will clean the wound and rinse it with a saline solution.

After an aspiration or incision and drainage procedure, a few additional steps are taken. First, depending on the size and depth of the cyst or abscess, the physician will bandage the wound with sterile gauze or will insert a drain to allow the abscess to continue draining as it heals. Antibiotics may be given to help prevent or fight infection. The discharge collected may be tested for bacterial cultures or malignant cancers.

You may be asked to return to the clinic one or more times for additional treatments to complete the abscess or cyst removal process, especially if the area is large.

Where can I get a cyst or abscess removed?

Your general practitioner or dermatologist can diagnose and treat your cyst or abscess. Although needle aspiration and incision, and drainage are generally quick procedures, you may experience a significant wait time if your health professional is booked in advance. If you wish to see a medical provider immediately to evaluate a cyst, you can walk-in or reserve a time at a Physicians Immediate Care clinic. Please note that it is up to our provider’s discretion to remove a cyst. Depending on the type of cyst and location, a referral to a specialist may be advised.

With more than 40 clinics open extended hours, 7 days a week across Indiana and Illinois, you can have your health concerns taken care of right away. Our dedicated physicians and health care practitioners can drain and remove your cyst or abscess before your symptoms get any worse. Visit us to get fast, quality care for all your health needs today.

Abscess Drainage: Procedures, Recovery, Recurrence

A skin abscess is a pocket of pus just under the surface of an inflamed section of skin. It’s usually triggered by a bacterial infection.

Abscess drainage is the treatment typically used to clear a skin abscess of pus and start the healing process. Smaller abscesses may not need to be drained to disappear.

Read on to learn more about this procedure, the recovery time, and the likelihood of recurrence.

Before a skin abscess drainage procedure, you may be started on a course of antibiotic therapy to help treat the infection and prevent associated infection from occurring elsewhere in the body.

The procedure is typically done on an outpatient basis. If you have a severe bacterial infection, you may need to be admitted to a hospital for additional treatment and observation.

Prior to making an incision, your doctor will clean and sterilize the affected area.

Usually, a local anesthetic is sufficient to keep you comfortable. It’s administered with a needle into the skin near the roof of the abscess where your doctor will make the incision for drainage. Examples of local anesthetics include lidocaine and bupivacaine.

The abscess drainage procedure itself is fairly simple:

  1. Your doctor makes an incision through the numbed skin over the abscess.
  2. Pus is drained out of the abscess pocket.
  3. After the pus has drained out, your doctor cleans out the pocket with a sterile saline solution.
  4. The abscess is left open but covered with a wound dressing to absorb any more pus that is produced initially after the procedure.
  5. A deeper or larger abscess may require a gauze “wick” to be placed inside to help keep the abscess open. This allows the tissue to heal properly from inside out and helps absorb pus or blood during the healing process.
  6. Your doctor may send a sample of the pus to a lab for a culture to determine the cause of the bacterial infection.

Will you need a ride home?

If it isn’t possible to use local anesthetic or the drainage will be difficult, you may need to be placed under sedation, or even general anesthesia, and treated in an operating room. In this case, you’ll need a ride home.

If a local anesthetic is enough, you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. If the abscess is in a location that may affect your driving, such as your right leg, you may need a ride.

Recovery time from abscess drainage depends on the location of the infection and its severity.

The gauze dressing on the skin over the wound incision may need to be in place for a couple of days or a week for an abscess that was especially large or deep.

If this dressing becomes soaked with drainage, it will need to be changed.

If your doctor placed gauze wick packing inside of the abscess cavity, your doctor will need to remove or repack this within a few days.

You can expect a little pus drainage for a day or two after the procedure.

Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic therapy to help your body fight off the initial infection and prevent subsequent infections. Pain relieving medications may also be recommended for a few days.

Within a week, your doctor will remove the dressing and any inside packing to examine the wound during a follow-up appointment. If everything looks good, you may be shown how to care for the wound and change the dressing and inside packing going forward.

For the first few days after the procedure, you may want to apply a warm, dry compress (or heating pad set to “low”) over the wound three or four times per day. This can help speed up the healing process.

You may also be advised to gently clean the area with soap and warm water before putting on new dressing. However, you should check with your doctor or a nurse about home care.

Healing could take a week or two, depending on the size of the abscess. During this time, new skin will grow from the bottom of the abscess and from around the sides of the wound.

An abscess doesn’t always require medical treatment. Milder abscesses may drain on their own or with a variety of home remedies.

You may be able to help a small abscess start to drain by applying a hot, moist compress to the affected area. This may also help reduce swelling and start the healing.

Other treatments for mild abscesses include dabbing them with a diluted mixture of tea tree oil and coconut or olive oil.

Soaking a cloth compress in hot water and Epsom salt and applying it gently to an abscess a few times a day may also help dry it out.

A skin abscess, sometimes referred to as a boil, can form just about anywhere on the body. A blocked oil gland, a wound, an insect bite, or a pimple can develop into an abscess.

If the infected area of your current abscess is treated thoroughly, typically there’s no reason a new abscess will form there again.

However, if the infection wasn’t eliminated, the abscess could reform in the same spot or elsewhere. Taking all of your antibiotics exactly as prescribed can help reduce the odds of an infection lingering and continuing to cause symptoms.

An abscess can also form after treatment if you develop a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection or other bacterial infection. These infections are contagious and can be acquired in a hospital setting or through direct contact with another person who has the infection.

Your doctor will treat an MRSA abscess the same as another similar abscess — by draining it and prescribing an appropriate antibiotic.

The most obvious symptom of an abscess is a painful, compressible area of skin that may look like a large pimple or even an open sore. The skin around the abscess may look red and feel tender and warm. You may also see pus draining from the site.

Other symptoms may include:

  • swelling around the infected area
  • hardened outer layer of skin
  • fever or chills if the infection is severe

A small abscess with little pain, swelling, or other symptoms can be watched for a few days and treated with a warm compress to see if it recedes. You should see a doctor if the following symptoms develop:

  • The abscess grows.
  • You see pus (which is usually a sign of infection).
  • Redness and swelling forms around the sore area.
  • The area is warm to the touch.
  • You have a fever or chills.

A doctor can usually diagnose a skin abscess by examining it. You should also be able to answer questions about your symptoms, such as:

  • when the abscess formed
  • whether it’s painful
  • whether you’ve had other abscesses

To identify the type of infection you have, your doctor may send pus drained from the area to a lab for analysis.

Abscess drainage is usually a safe and effective way of treating a bacterial infection of the skin. A doctor will numb the area around the abscess, make a small incision, and allow the pus inside to drain. This, and sometimes a course of antibiotics, is really all that’s involved.

If you follow your doctor’s advice about at-home treatment, the abscess should heal with little scarring and a lower chance of recurrence.

Drainage of abscesses of the female genital organs

The most common localization of abscesses in the vulva is an abscess of the Bartholin gland. Inflammation of the Bartholin’s gland leading to an abscess is most often the result of a gonorrheal infection. Gonorrheal inflammation affects almost exclusively the excretory duct of the gland; the gland itself remains unaffected. The inflamed excretory duct is filled with pus, its opening swells and sticks together, as a result of which the pus cannot pour out. The accumulated pus stretches the excretory duct of the gland and turns it into a false abscess. Suppuration usually does not occur in the surrounding connective tissue. If pyogenic microorganisms join the gonococci, then the gland itself can fester, and then a true abscess of the Bartholin gland is formed. The disease occurs when infectious agents enter the Bartholin gland. The most common are sexually transmitted diseases: gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, chlamydia.

There are also bartholinitis caused by other pathogens:

  • staphylococci,
  • streptococci,
  • E. coli,
  • candida
  • and others.

However, most often the disease is caused by an association of two or three infections. As a rule, pathogens enter the duct of the Bartholin gland from the urethra or vagina during urethritis and / or colpitis. However, sometimes it is possible for an infection to enter directly into the gland itself with a blood or lymph flow. Non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene (especially during menstruation) contributes to the infection entering directly into the duct of the gland. “for infection. Wearing tight underwear disrupts the normal outflow of gland secretions, so it stagnates, creating ideal conditions for a pathogen to enter the gland duct. A promiscuous sex life at times increases the likelihood of infection with sexually transmitted diseases. The presence of foci of chronic infection (caries) in the body , pyelonephritis). In this case, pathogens enter the Bartholin’s gland with blood or lymph flow. Impairment of the immune system, general or local hypothermia, lack of vitamins leads to a decrease in protective factors in the body. This contributes to the entry of infectious agents both directly into the gland itself and into its duct. Surgical interventions on the urogenital area (for example, abortion) performed in violation of health standards during manipulation, as well as with non-compliance with the rules of the postoperative period.

Types and symptoms

The disease begins acutely: there is severe pain in the region of the labia majora, in which an abscess has developed. The pain intensifies when walking, sitting, during intercourse and passing stools. The body temperature rises to 38-39 ° C, fatigue, weakness and chills appear. There is swelling of the labia majora on the side of the lesion. Moreover, sometimes it is so pronounced that it closes the entrance to the vagina. The appearance of a fluctuation (softening of the swelling) indicates that a true abscess of the Bartholin gland has developed, and a purulent capsule has formed in its cavity. The woman’s condition worsens: the body temperature rises to 40 ° C, phenomena of intoxication (weakness, chills, headache). Pain in the region of the labia majora, in which the cyst has formed, intensifies, acquiring the character of a constant pulsating.

Local changes

Severe swelling (edema) of the labia majora on the side of the lesion, which sometimes reaches up to 5-7 cm in diameter. The abscess can open on its own. At the same time, the general condition of the woman improves: the body temperature drops, swelling and pain decrease.


Recognition of a typical false abscess is not difficult. An abscess differs from a Bartholin gland cyst in pain and soreness when palpated, redness in the area of ​​​​the opening of the excretory duct of the gland. This redness is often accompanied by swelling of the skin. Furuncles, sometimes localized in this area, rarely reach such a size as an abscess of the Bartholin gland; in addition, boils lie more superficially. With a hematoma, which has a characteristic color and is the result of an injury, as evidenced by anamnestic data, it is, of course, difficult to mix an abscess. In the same way, it is difficult to mistake a hernia of the pudendal lip for an abscess of the Bartholin’s gland.


Abscess opening technique. The preparation of the operating field is normal. The hair on the external genital organs is shaved, the vagina is washed with some disinfectant solution (potassium permanganate solution, etc.) and, in order to avoid contamination with pus, it is tamponed with a strip of sterilized gauze. For anesthesia, we usually use ether or chloroethyl stunning. The incision area is smeared with iodine tincture. The incision should be made large and brought to the lower pole of the abscess, otherwise pockets will remain in which pus will accumulate, resulting in a purulent fistula that does not heal for a long time. The incision is made in the place of the clearest fluctuation, where the tissue covering the abscess is most thinned. After the pus has flowed out, the abscess cavity is sprinkled with white streptocide or wiped with a small tupfer moistened with iodine tincture; then a strip of gauze or a thin rubber tube is inserted into the cavity so that the hole does not close prematurely. At the end of the operation, the end of the gauze strip is removed, and a day later it is completely removed. A gauze and cotton pad is placed in front of the vulva to absorb the pus flowing from the wound. Applying a bandage is unnecessary. The drainage tube is replaced after 2 days with a fresh gauze strip or a drainage tube of a smaller diameter. It is necessary to ensure that the hole does not stick together before the granulations fill the abscess cavity. Satisfactory results are obtained by Vishnevsky’s ointment. Gauze turunda, impregnated with Vishnevsky’s ointment, can also be applied immediately after incision of the abscess of the Bartholin gland. If the inflammation recurs or a purulent fistulous tract remains for a long time, then a radical operation is necessary, i.e. removal of the gland along with its excretory duct.

Consequences of non-intervention

Acute or subacute process may result in complete recovery. However, the most common outcome is the transition to chronic bartholinitis or the formation of a cyst of the large gland of the vaginal vestibule. Therefore, a timely appeal to a specialist will allow time to stop the inflammatory process and determine the causative agent of the infection.

Outpatient surgeries – Acute bartholinitis (surgical treatment) close to home

Bartholin gland cyst.

Bartholin’s glands are located at the entrance to the vagina in women, one on each side. They are small, and normally not noticeable and not felt. The function of the Bartholin glands is to release fluid to the mucous membranes, the inner surfaces of the labia minora.

Bartholin’s cyst develops when the exit channel in the gland is blocked. Usually this happens only with one of the two glands. The fluid that is produced in the gland begins to accumulate inside. As a result, the gland enlarges and forms cysts. If the cyst becomes infected, an abscess occurs.

Bartholin gland abscess can be caused by almost any bacteria. Most often, these are microorganisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases – chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract (E. coli). It is not uncommon for more than one type of microorganism to be found in an abscess.

Bartholin gland cyst symptoms.

Bartholin gland cyst causes swelling of the labia on one side, near the entrance to the vagina.

The cyst itself does not usually cause much pain. And if such pain appears, this may indicate the development of an abscess.

Bartholin gland abscess causes severe pain in addition to swelling of the gland, signs of intoxication (fever, weakness, lethargy, lack of appetite) may be present.

The swollen area becomes very sensitive and the skin turns red. Walking and sitting can be very painful.

Diagnosis of a Bartholin’s cyst. In our Paracelsus Medical Center, in one day you can undergo all the necessary examinations to make this diagnosis and prepare for surgical treatment!

A physical examination is required to make a diagnosis of a Bartholin’s cyst or a Bartholin’s abscess.

Sometimes a test is done to determine the type of bacteria that caused the infection and to check if the patient has a sexually transmitted disease (gonorrhea or chlamydia). For analysis, a smear is simply taken with a cotton swab from the contents of an opened abscess or other area (cervix, for example). The result of these tests may indicate the need for antibiotic treatment.

Surgical treatment of acute bartholinitis (abscess of the Bartholin gland cyst).

In our MC Paracel, surgical treatment of abscess of the Bartholin gland is carried out on the day of the patient’s initial treatment, if necessary, a certificate of incapacity for work is issued.

Abscesses and large, painful cysts often require surgical drainage. An abscess is an infection in a confined space, and antibiotics may not work. Therefore, treating a Bartholin gland abscess almost always requires releasing the fluid inside it (opening a Bartholin gland abscess).

Local anesthesia is used to drain an abscess. Then, when opening the abscess of the Bartholin gland, an incision is made through which the contents of the abscess merge. A rubber drain or a small catheter may be inserted into the cavity.