What will happen?
Hospital admission is not a prerogative for the procedure, but as everybody is different, you may need to stay in hospital and the length of hospitalization may vary.
You will arrive into the Interventional Radiology Suite where the interventional radiologist (a doctor specially trained to perform this procedure) and radiographer will explain the procedure and answer your questions. The study usually takes about 60 minutes. After completion, you will be transferred to your ward or, if coming as an outpatient, monitored for 2 hours for possible complications.
Do I need any test before the procedure?
You will be asked to have following blood tests:
PI/FIT/Platelets — to assess the risk of post procedural bleeding.
You should discuss any allergy history (particularly to Iodine) with the radiologist prior to procedure.
The drainage procedure
You will have a drip placed in the arm for vascular access. Mild sedation might be required. You will be positioned on the X-ray table depending on the localization of the abscess and under local anesthesia and sterile conditions, a small incision will be made on your skin. The radiologist will use X-rays, ultrasound or CT to guide placement of drainage tube. Injection of contrast may be required to check the size of the abscess and confirm satisfactory position of the tube.
The catheter will be connected to a drainage bag and the insertion site will be covered with a dressing. You and/or the member of your family will be instructed about the bag care.
What will I feel? Does it hurt?
You will feel a bee sting when the doctor numbs the skin. You may feel some pressure and discomfort when the tube is inserted. We may need to give you extra medication to help you relax and to reduce your pain.
Some discomfort is to be expected in a few days after the tube insertion.
What are the risks?
Bleeding at the puncture site happens seldom and is usually minimal. In the unlikely case of arterial bleeding, surgical intervention or embolization may be necessary to control it.
After the procedure you may have a high fever with shivering which will be treated by antibiotics; it usually does not last more than few hours.
Allergic reaction to X ray contrast is very rare (moderate to serious reactions occur in 1/50.000
150.000 people). You should mention any allergy history to the radiologist in order to organize appropriate anti-allergic regime.
When will I get my results?
The radiologist will be able to talk to you immediately after the procedure.
When will I resume my normal activities?
It depends on your general condition. The radiologist and your attending physician/surgeon will give you proper advice.