Pus Pocket/Infection

Aspiration & Abscess Drain

Accessing and sampling an infected abscess

An abscess is a collection of infected fluid or pus, which can cause pain, fever, and widespread infection if left untreated.

When a patient has symptoms of infection, imaging (CT, MRI, etc.) might be done and an abscess can sometimes be seen in the patient’s body.

An abscess may develop after injury or surgery, when bacteria have had an opportunity to invade the body.

To confirm or diagnose an abscess, an interventional radiologist might be called upon to perform an aspiration.

An aspiration is a minimally invasive image-guided procedure by which a sample of the infected abscess fluid or pus is collected for testing, which can help identify the exact type of bacteria causing the infection and dictate treatment.

Abscess Drain
An interventional radiologist may also be asked to place a drain into the abscess.

To place an abscess drain, an interventional radiologist will insert small tube through the skin and infected area, allowing for the fluid and pus to flow out of the abscess and to be collected in a bag outside of the body.

An abscess drain is typically paired with antibiotics to rid the patient of infection entirely.


For more information, including questions about referrals, please contact us at:

(616) 459-7225

Or, visit our Contact page.

Additional Online Resources:
The Interventional Initiative
Society of Interventional Radiology
Radiology Info for Patients

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