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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Tubo-Ovarian Abscess

Topic Overview

A pocket of pus that forms during an infection of a fallopian tube and ovary is called a tubo-ovarian abscess. Tubo-ovarian abscesses can develop in women who have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

A tubo-ovarian abscess is usually diagnosed by physical examination or pelvic ultrasound. Some abscesses are found by surgical exploration of the abdomen (laparoscopy or laparotomy).

These abscesses are usually treated with antibiotics. Very large abscesses or abscesses that do not go away after antibiotic treatment may have to be drained. Draining may be done by using a large needle. The needle is guided by ultrasound or by cutting into the abscess during laparoscopy or laparotomy. Sometimes the infected tube and ovary also have to be removed surgically.

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Current as of: July 17, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Kevin C. Kiley MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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