Transrectal versus transvaginal abscess drainage: Survey of patient tolerance and effect on activities on daily living

David M. Hovseplan, Joseph R. Steele, Celette Sugg Skinner, Eric S. Malden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate patient perception of pain related to transrectal and transvaginal drainage and the catheter's effect on activities of daily living. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From July 1993 to August 1997, 22 male and 40 female patients (mean age, 41 years; age range, 4-80 years) underwent transrectal or transvaginal aspiration or drainage. Fifty-seven drainages were performed. In a follow-up survey, patients were asked to score pain experienced during the procedure and afterward on a scale of 1-10 and to rate the effect of the catheter on their activities of daily living. RESULTS: Twenty-two patients participated in the telephone survey. For those able to recall the insertion procedure, the mean pain score was 3.2 for transrectal and 5.9 for transvaginal drainage. Mean indwelling catheter pain was 1.6 for transrectal and 4.8 for transvaginal drainage. Pain after removal was 1.4 for transrectal and 2.3 for transvaginal drainage. Only one patient with a transrectal catheter reported severe limitation (bowel movement), with no reports of any serious effect on urinating, bathing, sitting, or walking. Transvaginally placed catheters caused marked limitation in all categories and were more painful than transrectal catheters (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Of the transrectal and transvaginal approaches, transrectal is better tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Abscess, US
  • Abscess, drainage
  • Interventional procedures
  • Pelvic organs, US
  • Pelvic organs, abscess
  • Pelvic organs, interventional procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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