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Abscess Incision and Drainage


An abscess incision and drainage (I and D) is a procedure to drain pus from an abscess and clean it out so it can heal.


Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • The area around your abscess has red streaks or is warm and painful.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have increased redness, swelling, or pain in your wound.
  • Your wound does not start to heal after a few days.
  • Your abscess returns.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for your wound as directed:

  • Do not remove your bandage unless your healthcare provider says it is okay. Keep the bandage clean and dry. Remove your bandage and clean the wound once your healthcare provider gives you directions.
  • Apply heat on the bandage over your wound for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. This will increase blood flow to the area and help it heal.
  • Elevate your wound above level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your wounded area on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return in 1 to 3 days to have the gauze in your wound removed and your wound examined. You may be taught how to change the gauze in your wound. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.