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



1. Is Incision and Drainage painful?

No, incision and drainage is not painful. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia, which numbs the area. You may feel some pressure during the procedure, but it should not be painful.

2. Who can do Incision and Drainage?

A trained medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or physician assistant, can perform incision and drainage. The procedure is typically done in an outpatient setting, such as a doctor’s office or clinic.

3. How much does Incision and Drainage cost?

The cost of incision and drainage varies depending on the individual case. Factors that can affect the cost include the type of insurance you have, the location of the procedure, and the doctor performing the procedure. In general, incision and drainage is a relatively affordable procedure.

4. What to do after Incision and Drainage?

After incision and drainage, it is important to keep the area clean. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection. The wound may take a few weeks to heal. During this time, it is important to keep the area clean and dry. The doctor may also recommend that you use a bandage or dressing to keep the area clean and protected.

5. When should I see a doctor?

If you have any symptoms of an infection, such as redness, swelling, or pain, you should see a doctor right away. If you have had incision and drainage before and are experiencing these symptoms again, you should also see a doctor. Symptoms of an infection can worsen quickly, so it is important to get medical help right away.

6. Why is Incision and Drainage performed?

Incision and drainage is performed to treat infections. The procedure helps to drain pus and other fluids from the infected area. This can help to reduce pain and swelling, and it can also help to prevent the spread of the infection.

7. Is Incision and Drainage considered surgery?

Yes, incision and drainage is considered surgery. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia, which numbs the area. You may feel some pressure during the procedure, but it should not be painful.