Loop drainage of cutaneous abscesses using a modified sterile glove: a promising technique

J Emerg Med. 2014 Aug;47(2):188-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.04.035. Epub 2014 Jun 11.


Background: Cutaneous abscesses are a common clinical condition treated effectively with incision and drainage.

Objective: Placement of subcutaneous loop drains to facilitate healing of these infections has been described, but has yet to gain widespread adoption in clinical practice.

Discussion: This article includes instructions for how to perform this technique using materials available in the emergency setting, as well as a discussion of the potential advantages and disadvantages of this method.

Conclusions: This technique of abscess management is effective and easy to perform. It offers potential benefits, such as decreased pain from packing material, no need for packing changes, and decreased need for follow-up visits.

Keywords: abscess; cellulitis; infection; skin; soft tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / surgery*
  • Drainage / instrumentation
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Gloves, Surgical*
  • Humans
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Skin Diseases / surgery*