A tubo-ovarian abscess is a pocket of pus that forms during an infection in a fallopian tube and ovary. This condition most commonly occurs in women who have infection or inflammation in the reproductive tract (pelvic inflammatory disease).
A tubo-ovarian abscess is usually diagnosed based on a physical exam or pelvic ultrasound. Some abscesses are found during surgical exploration of the abdomen.
Antibiotics are the first-line treatment for a tubo-ovarian abscess. Very large abscesses or abscesses that do not go away after antibiotic treatment can be drained. Draining may be done with a large needle guided by ultrasound or by surgically cutting into the abscess. Sometimes the infected tube and ovary also have to be surgically removed.
Last Revised: November 23, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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