An incision and drainage procedure is a medical procedure that is performed to remove pus or other fluid from an abscess. The procedure is also known as an I&D. An abscess is a pocket of pus that has formed in the tissue of the body. Abscesses can occur anywhere in the body, but are most common in the skin, lungs, and mouth. Incisions are made through the abscess to allow the pus to drain out.

The area is then flushed with sterile water or saline solution to remove any remaining pus or debris. A drainage tube may be placed into the abscess to help keep it draining. The incision and drainage procedure is usually performed in a doctor’s office or hospital outpatient department. The procedure is generally safe and complications are rare. However, as with any medical procedure, there are risks involved.

Risks of the Incision And Drainage procedure include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Scarring

You should discuss the risks of the procedure with your doctor prior to having the procedure.

The incision and drainage procedure is generally a quick and easy procedure. The entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete. You will likely be given local anesthesia to numb the area before the incision is made.

How to care for the Incision Site:

After the procedure is completed, you will be given instructions on how to care for the incision site. These instructions will generally include:

  • Keeping the area clean and dry
  • Applying an antibiotic ointment to the area
  • Wearing loose fitting clothing to avoid irritation
  • Keeping the area covered with a bandage
  • Returning to have the stitches removed in 7-10 days