Is packing necessary after skin and soft tissue abscess incision and drainage?

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Evidence-Based Answer

No. No significant difference was noted in abscess recurrence, healing rates, or need for intervention in adults and pediatric patients undergoing incision and drainage for a simple subcutaneous abscess regardless of the use of packing (SOR: B, consistent small RCTs). Further, omitting the use of packing may reduce pain and use of analgesic medications after the procedure (SOR: C, small RCT).

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