• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Abscess drain



Hi all,

I'm supposed to have a medium-sized abdominal abscess percutaneously drained on Thursday. Has anyone here had this procedure, and if so do they generally use just a local anaesthetic or an IV pain medication (the CT scan showed it was about two inches in)? Also, I was told that a drain will likely be implanted for a week, which makes me nervous about possible infection. Has anybody had any complications from a drain or the procedure itself?

Anything you could tell me about your experience with abscess aspiration would be greatly appreciated.

I'm looking forward to having the thing gone - it's causing quite a bit of discomfort - but the thought of people jabbing huge needles in my belly is a little alarming! I've had two resections but was out for those.

Also, has anyone taken the antibiotic Augmentin XR for abdominal infection? I've been taking it for two weeks, but I'm not sure how well it's working because my abscess has grown larger, though the CT scan shows no evidence of a fistula.

hiya RF, & welcome to the forum :)

no - i have never had an abscess drained, but i have had minor surgery done on badly healing scars - the normal procedure for this was to use local anaesthetic (but i'm allergic to it, so i just had something to relax me instead).

however, following one bout of surgery, i did have various drains in my abdo, and none of them were any trouble - no infection, minor discomfort, and the scars from these drains were tiny, and now almost invisible.

sorry i can't be of more help, but good luck tomorrow! let us know how it goes.
Last edited:
Hey there. I had this exact this done last November. Had a large lump on my lower right abdomen. Basically they take you into the ct room and give you an iv I think mostly so they can shoot that dye into you so that they can scan everything better. Then they give you local freezing around the area. Then they basically just puncture the skin and stick a big seringe in to drain it as much as possible - but they don't want the cavity to collapse yet so they don't drain it too much (this is why you need to have the drain in place).

It doesn't hurt so much as there is lots of pressure when they are puncturing. I would see though if you could take something to calm your nerves if you're anxious about it. I think that would have helped me because I was freaked. The whole procedure though only took me maybe 20 minutes and I was out of there.

I had a drain put in that kind of just hung down the side of my hip with a big bag attached to the end. They attach it on there pretty good so there wasn't much worry of it moving or coming off. Mine didn't drain that much ... just a little the first couple days. Then because mine was pretty shallow the puss actually just started draining out of the actual hole that the drain was poked through...so I basically just continually bandaged that up and let it pour out of there.

I think I had it in for maybe a week and then I just removed it myself once the doc gave the OK. Removing it was scary and I could have had the doc do it, but I kind of like to control my own pain so I thought I'd give it a whirl. It actaully didn't hurt at all.

One thing you should make sure of is to complete your antibiotics after and make sure the abscess is gone. I think I quite mine too soon and it ended up coming back a few months later .... but it might be unrelated too, they're not sure.

I hope this helps. Honestly....there are WAY worse procedures than this. It'll hurt a bit - but know that the pain will only be for a very short period of time.


Thank you very much dingbat and Juls for your nice thoughts! This is a great forum :)

Juls, I really appreciate you offering so much detail about your experience. It makes me feel less nervous, but I think I will request something to calm me as per your informed suggestion. I'm sorry your abscess came back - it sounds like you may have had a fistula feeding it or something?

I'm still wondering why they need me to be there two hours before the procedure. I can't imagine there would be that much prep!

Wish me luck. I'll let y'all know how it goes. I love that this forum is open to sharing the goriest of details! :eek:
Welcome to the forum.

I never had an abscess drained on my stomach but a few weeks ago I had one done on my rectum. They put me under and the procedure took about 20 minutes. I never needed a seton though.



I've never had an abcess in my stomach, but I have had a Perianal abcess and also a Bartholin's abcess, which I have been told are also linked to Crohn's.
My first was 2 years ago and the other was a few months ago.