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A 38-year-old member asked:

can antibiotics relieve an abscess without the need for surgery?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 years experience
Yes: An abscess can often be treated with antibiotics before moving to surgery but this would need to be monitored by your doctor. The size and location of the abscess is also important when deciding the proper management.
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
NotAllCreatedEqual: Treatment of an abscess depends on its cause & location, as well as the health of the patient. Some will resolve with antibiotics alone +/- (needle) aspiration, others will require surgical drainage +/- antibiotics. Regardless, all require medical attention and a search for the underlying cause.
Dr. David Hettinger
Podiatry 36 years experience
I would try it....: Sometimes an abscess will need to be drained for it to clear up, but a course of antibiotics is a good way to start. You can always have the surgery if things don't clear up - but make sure you keep your doctor posted as to any adverse changes in your health.
Dr. Joseph Mele
Plastic Surgery 32 years experience
Surgery 101: Ideally all abscesses should be drained, and many will fail antibiotic treatment, because antibiotics can't circulate well inside the abscess. Superficial abscess will often come to head and drain on their own, but surgery speeds healing. Deeper abscess, inside the chest or abdomen, may be drained percutaneously with the help of a radiologist. Surgery verses waiting must be individually evaluated.

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A 28-year-old male asked:

What to do for allergic reaction to antibiotic ? Finished course. Just wait.

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kamel Sadek
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Last updated Jan 15, 2015
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