Incisions & Drainage

Trauma Treatment Center Newport Beach
(949) 760-8300
Newport Center Urgent Care

Abscess Incision & Drainage in Orange County

At Newport Center Urgent Care, we offer incision and drainage (I&D) procedures for patients with medical concerns such as abscesses and other skin abnormalities. Learn more about abscess drainage and treatment options in Orange County.


An abscess is a localized collection of pus that forms within the body due to an infection. It is usually accompanied by pain, swelling, redness, and a feeling of warmth around the affected area. Abscesses can occur almost anywhere in the body, including the skin, internal organs, and even the gums.


Bacterial infections typically cause abscesses. When bacteria invade the body, the immune system responds by sending white blood cells to fight the infection. In the process, pus forms, which consists of dead white blood cells, bacteria, and tissue debris. The body then attempts to wall off the infection by surrounding it with a membrane, creating the abscess.
Here are a few common causes of an abscess:
Foreign objects or materials in the skin
Inflammatory bowel disease
Chronic skin conditions, such as acne or eczema
Skin injuries or trauma
Compromised immune system
Poor hygiene
Blockage of a hair follicle or sweat gland
Bacterial infections, such as staphylococcus or streptococcus
doctor wrapping a patients arm with a dressing after an incision and drainage procedure
doctor stitching about performing an incision and drainage procedure

When to Get an Incision & Drainage Procedure

It's essential to determine when an I&D procedure is necessary for treating an abscess. If the abscess is large, deep, or located in a sensitive area (near the face, genitals, or anus), you should consult a healthcare professional. Additionally, if you have a weakened immune system, diabetes, or a history of recurrent abscesses, it's best to get medical assistance.

If you do not drain a skin abscess, there is a strong chance that the pus could continue to grow and fill until it actually bursts. This can not only be extremely painful but can also cause the infection to come back or spread.

Incision & Drainage Procedure

The process for the I&D procedure involves the following steps:
The area around the abscess is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and local anesthesia may be administered to numb the area and minimize discomfort.
A sterile scalpel or needle is used to make an incision in the abscess, allowing the pus to drain.
The healthcare professional may gently press around the abscess to help expel the pus.
The wound may be irrigated with a sterile saline solution to flush out any remaining pus and bacteria.
Depending on the size and depth of the abscess, a packing material may be inserted into the wound to promote healing from the inside out.
The wound is then covered with a sterile dressing.
The whole process typically takes under an hour to finish, and any complications are usually minor. If you should encounter pain or bleeding following the procedure, you should reach out for medical advice from our healthcare professionals.

Aftercare for Abscess Incision & Drainage Procedure

It is essential to keep the wound clean during the healing process, which can be achieved by regularly cleaning it with mild soap and water. Additionally, it's important to replace the dressing as needed, particularly if it becomes wet or soiled, to prevent infection and promote healing.

In some cases, packing material may be used during the incision and drainage procedure. If this is the case, be sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for proper care and removal of the packing material. This will help ensure that the wound heals correctly and without complications.

If prescribed medications, such as antibiotics or pain relievers, be sure to take these medications as directed. They play a vital role in preventing infection and managing discomfort during the healing process.

If you experience any of the following signs of infection, do not hesitate to seek medical attention: 
Increased redness
Pus drainage
graphic showing water being poured over an open wound from an incision and drainage procedure

Abscess Drainage at Newport Center Urgent Care

Newport Center Urgent Care offers I&D procedures for abscesses. We also offer small/minor cyst removal services. Our priority is to provide safe and effective care to our patients, and we always strive to ensure that they receive the appropriate medical attention for their needs.

From the initial evaluation to aftercare, Newport Center Urgent Care is committed to providing quality treatment for abscesses and other urgent medical needs. Walk-ins are strongly encouraged. We are available in a number of ways and offer various services to address each individual healthcare need for our beloved community.

(949) 438-6690
Find out answers to the most commonly asked urgent care questions to help you and your family get the best possible medical care in southern CA.

What is an incision and drainage procedure?

Incision and drainage are minor surgical procedures used to release pus or pressure built up under the skin, such as from an abscess. Clinical lancing can also be performed for infected paranasal sinuses.

How long does incision and drainage take to heal?

After an abscess has been treated it can typically take about 2-3 weeks to completely heal, but most people can return to normal activities after a few days.

Why is incision and drainage performed?

Most commonly, an incision (a cut in the body to access the abscess) and drainage is performed in order to treat an abscess, (a collection of pus in tissues of the body).

Is incision and drainage considered a surgery?

Incision and drainage are considered minor surgical procedures, as they can normally be done in a practicioner’s office or urgent care facility.

What happens to pus if not drained?

It could continue to grow, and eventually burst. This could cause an infection to come back or spread, and can also be quite painful if left untreated.

What are the complications of incision and drainage?

Incision and drainage can cause complications, such as damage to adjacent structures or spread of infection due in part by inadequate drainage.
Other SErvices
From sports injuries to pediatric care, Newport Center Urgent Care has you covered. At NCUC, we provide many other healthcare services, such as breathing treatments for the Orange County area of California.