In-tra Ab-dom-in-ul Ab-sess
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
An abscess is a pocket of pus or infected fluid. This type is found in the belly.
An abscess forms because of an infection. Dead germs and damaged tissue build up. This build up is pus.
The pus will create a pocket in the area around it. It will continue to grow if the infection is still present.
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase the risk of intra-abdominal abscess may include:
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
An infection may be suspected based on your symptoms. The doctor may feel the abscess during an exam. Blood tests may also be done. They can show signs of infection.
Images may be needed to look for an abscess. Options include:
Antibiotics may be given to treat the infection. It can also stop the infection from spreading.
Fluid and pus from the abscess may also need to be removed. This may help speed healing. Abscesses may be drained with:
Support care may also be given. IV fluids or nutrition help may be given if there is nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
There are no known ways to prevent this abscess. Work with your doctor to manage any conditions that increase your risk of this abscess.
American College of Surgeons
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Intra-abdominal abscess. University of Rochester Medical Center website. Available at: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=134&ContentID=145. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Intra-abdominal abscesses. Merck Manual Professional Manual website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 2017. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Intra-abdominal sepsis and abscesses. Patient website. Available at: https://patient.info/doctor/intra-abdominal-sepsis-and-abscesses. Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Schein M. Management of intra-abdominal abscesses. In: Holzheimer RG, Mannick JA, editors. Surgical treatment: Evidence-based and problem-oriented. Munich: Zuckschwerdt; 2001. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6937. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 10/3/2016
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.