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Abscess

An abscess is a collection of pus collected in a cavity formed by the tissue on the basis of an infectious process (usually caused by bacteria or parasites) or other foreign materials (e.g. bullet wounds). It is a defensive reaction of the tissue to prevent the infectious materials to spread to the other parts of the body.

The organisms or foreign materials that gain access to a part of tissue kill the local cells, release toxins and trigger an inflammatory response by drawing huge amounts of white blood cells to the area and increasing the regional blood flow. So, pus is a collection of local dead tissue cells, white blood cells, infecting organisms or foreign material and toxins released by both organisms and blood cells. The final structure of the abscess is an abscess wall that is formed by the adjacent healthy cells in an attempt to build a barrier around the pus that limits the infected material from neighbouring structures.

The cardinal symptoms and signs of any kind of inflammatory process are redness, heat, swelling and pain. Abscesses may occur in any kind of solid tissue but most frequently on skin surface, in the lungs, brain, kidneys and tonsils. Major complications are spreading of the abscess material to adjacent or remote tissues and extensive regional tissue death (gangrene).

The treatment of first choice is the surgical drainage of the inclusives of the abscess. However, surgery may be used as a last choice in a critical location such as the brain. Moreover, the drainage of the lung abscess may be performed by giving the patient a certain position that enables the contents to be discharged via the respiratory tract. Additionally antibiotics are used to control the infection. Warm compresses and elevation of the limb may be beneficial for skin abscess.

An anal abscess is a particularly irksome variation and is often associated with the onset of diabetes if in later life. For more information regarding the surgery required and post operative care see http://johnnyspring.tripod.com/johnnyspangles/id19



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