Improving your health since 2000
An abscess (ab-ses) incision and drainage (I&D) is the opening and draining of an abscess. An abscess is a swelling under the skin that is infected and pus-filled. You can have an abscess anywhere on your body, such as the breast. Or you may have an abscess in the armpit, rectum, or skin around the vagina. You can get an abscess on your face or in the area near the tonsils in your throat.
A bacteria (bak-teer-e-uh) gets into the body and causes an infection. The infected area fills with pus and becomes an abscess.
You may have a fever and the skin or tissue over the abscess often hurts. It usually looks red, swollen, and feels hot when you touch the area. The abscess may feel like a soft lump that moves under your skin.
Your caregiver will open the abscess and drain the pus. You may need to take antibiotic (an-ti-bi-ah-tik) medicine to kill the germs. If the abscess is small, you can probably be treated in your caregiver's office. If the abscess is large, you may need to be treated in the emergency room or hospital.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.