9 doctors weighed in:
Can antibiotics relieve an abscess without the need for surgery?
9 doctors weighed in

Dr. Joseph Mele
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Joseph Mele
Dr. Joseph Mele
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Dr. Barry Rosen
Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen
Thank
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics & Gynecology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Jeff Livingston
Dr. Jeff Livingston
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In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. David Hettinger
Dr. David Hettinger
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