Abscess Drainage: What to Expect at an Urgent Care Facility

Can an Urgent Care Drain an Abscess?

Absolutely. Unless the abscess is very deep or large, this treatment can be effectively carried out in the outpatient setting of an urgent care facility. Abscesses are a common medical condition that can cause significant discomfort and, if left untreated, lead to serious complications. Fortunately, abscess drainage is a procedure that many urgent care settings can perform, offering patients a convenient and cost-effective treatment option.

What is an Abscess?

An abscess is a localized collection of pus that forms within the tissue of the body. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection and results in swelling, redness, and pain in the affected area. Abscesses can occur anywhere in the body, but some of the most common areas include:

  • Skin and Soft Tissues: Abscesses often form just under the skin, particularly in areas prone to friction and sweating, such as the armpits, groin, buttocks, and around the anus.
  • Internal Organs: Abscesses can also develop in internal organs like the liver, lungs, and brain, but these are less common and typically require more specialized care.
  • Periapical and Periodontal: Abscesses that can form around the teeth and gums due to untreated cavities or gum disease.

It’s important to note that dental and internal organ abscesses require specialized treatment and cannot be handled at an urgent care facility.

How are Abscesses Treated?

The primary treatment for skin and soft tissue abscesses is Incision and drainage or (I & D), which involves making an incision in the abscess to allow the pus to escape. This procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia or with a numbing cream to minimize discomfort. Here is a step-by-step overview of the process:

  1. Assessment: A healthcare provider will examine the abscess to determine the best approach for drainage. This includes evaluating the size, depth, and location of the abscess.
  2. Numbing the Area: If necessary, local anesthesia or topical cream may be used to numb the area around the abscess, ensuring the patient is comfortable during the procedure.
  3. Incision: A small incision is made over the abscess to allow the pus to drain out. In some cases, a small amount of pressure may be applied to help expel the pus.
  4. Drainage: The pus is carefully drained from the abscess. If necessary, the provider may use a sterile instrument to help break up any pockets of pus.
  5. Cleaning and Dressing: The area is thoroughly cleaned, and a sterile dressing is applied to protect the wound and promote healing.

How Much Does an Abscess Drainage Cost?

The cost of abscess drainage can vary depending on several factors including the type of abscess and the facility where it’s being treated. On average, patients can expect to pay between $100 and $630 for the procedure. However, at Citra Urgent Care, we offer a flat rate for patients without insurance, ensuring that everyone has access to the care they need without worrying about unexpected costs.

When Should I Go to the Emergency Room for an Abscess?

You should go to the emergency room for an abscess if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  1. High Fever: A fever over 101°F (38.3°C) could indicate a more serious infection.
  2. Rapidly Worsening Symptoms: If the abscess becomes extremely painful, swollen, or red, especially if these symptoms are spreading rapidly, it could indicate a severe infection.
  3. Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing: Abscesses in certain areas, such as the throat or near the lungs, can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing and require immediate medical attention.
  4. Red Streaks: Red streaks extending from the abscess are a sign of infection spreading through the bloodstream, known as cellulitis, which requires prompt treatment.
  5. Persistent Symptoms: If symptoms do not improve with home care or if they worsen despite treatment, seek medical attention promptly.

In these cases, seeking emergency medical care is crucial to prevent the infection from spreading and causing serious complications.

Why Choose Citra Urgent Care?

At Citra Urgent Care, we understand that dealing with an abscess can be stressful and painful. Our experienced medical team is dedicated to providing compassionate and professional care to help you feel better as quickly as possible. With our flat rate for uninsured patients, we make it easy and affordable to get the treatment you need.

If you suspect you have an abscess, don’t wait for it to worsen. Visit any of our Citra Urgent Care locations for prompt evaluation and treatment. Our convenient locations and extended hours ensure that you can receive care when you need it most.

Let us help you get back to feeling good about feeling better.