ZocdocAnswersDo i have to have surgery if I have an abscess?

Question

Do i have to have surgery if I have an abscess?

I think I have an abscess on my leg. It?s on the inner side by my groin. Do I have to have it drained with surgery or is there another way to make it go away?

Answer

If you have an abscess on your thigh, you should see a doctor right away to get it drained. Abscesses are most commonly a result of bacterial overgrowth and inflammation. They occur generally in the folds of the body where it is difficult to maintain good hygiene or as a result of increased sweating such as in the inner thigh areas around your groin. The most common way to treat an abscess is to lance it and drain out the pus and blood. This is important to prevent further spread of the infection, and the complications associated with the infection. The issue is that because abscesses are by definition infections that the body has walled off, antibiotics typically can not penetrate thoroughly enough into the abscess cavity to effectively deal with the abscess greater than 1 cm. In such cases, your physician will inject some local anesthesia to numb up the area, and make a small cut (incision) into the abscess and drain it. Often times depending on the size, a small string of packing will be placed within the abscess cavity to allow it to heal properly and to allow any remnant pus to drain out effectively. Again, you should have this dealt with sooner rather than later and make an appointment with your primary physician soon.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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