Abscesses (boils) are skin infections that are inflamed and contain pus. Incision and drainage is a procedure performed to clear large, growing and painful abscesses of pus. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia and takes about 45 minutes. Your doctor makes a small incision and drains the pus using a catheter (thin long tube), syringe or just by squeezing the abscess. The area is flushed with sterile water. Your doctor may use special tools to explore further into the incision. A sample of the infected region is removed with a cotton swab for testing in the laboratory. Your doctor may pack the wound with gauze and cover with a dressing to prevent the recurrence of the abscess. Your wound will recover in about 14 days.
As with all surgeries, incision and drainage of an abscess may be associated with complications such as pain, bleeding, redness, swelling, fever, rash and scarring at the site of the abscess.