What is abdominal abscess?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Alan A Saber, MD, MS, FACS, FASMBS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Intra-abdominal abscess continues to be an important and serious problem in surgical practice. Appropriate treatment is often delayed because of the obscure nature of many conditions resulting in abscess formation, which can make diagnosis and localization difficult. Associated pathophysiologic effects may become life threatening or lead to extended periods of morbidity with prolonged hospitalization. Delayed diagnosis and treatment can also lead to increased mortality; therefore, the economic impact of delaying treatment is significant.

A better understanding of intra-abdominal abscess pathophysiology and a high clinical index of suspicion should allow earlier recognition, definitive treatment, and reduced morbidity and mortality. [1]

For patient education resources, see the Infections Center, as well as Abscess and Antibiotics.

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