Operation for an abscess | The treatment of an abscess

Operation for an abscess

Abscesses are surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. This creates a barrier to the surrounding tissue and to the blood. Since the blood also has no access to the abscess, no defence cells such as mast cells, lymphocytes or macrophages are flushed into the inflamed area.

They are not able to fight the bacteria. In addition, no medication can reach the abscess. Therefore, treatment with antibiotics often remains unsuccessful.

Treatment by a doctor is inevitable here and there is an indication for a minor surgical intervention. The type of therapy depends on the size and extent of the abscess and its location. In addition, the pathogen can be identified and an antibiotic therapy can be prescribed, which would reduce the possible spread of germs.

During the operation a sterile and clean work surface is created. The skin around the abscess is disinfected and anaesthetized with a local anaesthetic so that the patient hardly feels anything of the operation. The doctor opens the abscess with a scalpel.

The pus is drained via a drainage until the capsule is completely empty. If there is also a fistula, it should also be cleared by splitting it away. He then removes the inflamed tissue and rinses the wound thoroughly.

The wound is not closed but remains open at first. In this way, any bacteria that remain cannot multiply again and form a capsule. Depending on the severity of the wound, a drainage can also be inserted into the wound to regularly drain the wound fluid.

Aftercare should be carried out carefully to avoid a new abscess. The wound should be cleaned regularly and disinfected with appropriate medication. The dressing should also be changed daily, especially if fluid is still draining from the wound in the first days after the operation.

If the patient needs help with this, he or she can also have the dressing changed in an appropriate private practice or by the family doctor. A change of dressing is also advisable after bowel movements, because depending on the location of the abscess there is a risk of intestinal bacteria being carried over into the open wound. Depending on the location and extent of the accumulation of pus, the surgical procedure can also be performed under general anaesthetic.

This also depends on the patient’s age and whether the patient wishes to be anaesthetised, for example, out of fear. The type of anaesthesia used for the operation can be discussed with the doctor in charge. An operation (surgery) is considered the only effective method for treating a pronounced abscess.

Only after the abscess cavity has been emptied can the causative pathogens be combated and the problem eliminated. In addition, the symptoms caused by the abscess can only be alleviated by surgically opening the pus collection. Treatment of abscesses without surgery can only be effective for mild forms of the disease.

If a patient decides to have the abscess healed without surgery, he should pay particular attention to hygienic conditions in the area of the affected body part. Before ointments or solutions are applied to the abscess, the skin surface should be treated with antiseptic disinfectant. In addition, the hands must be washed carefully after direct contact with the abscess.

Only in this way can the transmission of the causative pathogens be prevented. The maturation of the abscess can be supported by applying heated, moist compresses. In addition, herbal agents such as chamomile, arnica or hay flower should make it possible to treat an abscess without surgery.

In this context, however, it has to be considered that the skin surface should only be sparingly rubbed with the selected substance. Otherwise strong skin reactions and hypersensitivity reactions may occur. In addition, some of the affected patients report that the daily irradiation of the abscess with red light should make treatment without surgery possible.

If, despite these measures, there is no self-healing within a period of one week, treatment of the abscess without surgery is considered to have failed. The affected patients should urgently consult a physician at this time at the latest and consider surgical opening of the abscess cavity. The occurrence of general symptoms of the disease should also be perceived as a warning signal. Patients who develop, for example, fever during abscess treatment without surgery should consult a physician promptly. It should also be noted that the spontaneous opening of an abscess without surgery can lead to the formation of visible scars.