Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Warning Signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause localized spread metastatic spread Anatomy

Brain Abscess Treatment

Most brain abscesses require surgery, in order to open the abscess and drain the infected fluid. After surgery, a person with a brain abscess usually receives prolonged treatment with antibiotics, for 4 to 8 weeks. Initially, the antibiotics may be given through an intravenous (IV) line. Corticosteroid medications may be used to reduce swelling around the brain. Complete healing may require a few months.

Treatment for a brain abscess includes:

Brain Abscess Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a brain abscess.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Brain Abscess Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat brain abscesses:

Continue to Brain Abscess Warning Signs

Last Updated: May 13, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Brain Abscess References
  1. Bernardini GL. Diagnosis and management of brain abscess and subdural empyema. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2004 Nov;4(6):448-56. [15509445]
  2. Roche M, Humphreys H, Smyth E, et al. A twelve-year review of central nervous system bacterial abscesses; presentation and aetiology. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Aug;9(8):803-9. [14616700]
  3. Xiao F, Tseng MY, Teng LJ, Tseng HM, Tsai JC. Brain abscess: clinical experience and analysis of prognostic factors. Surg Neurol. 2005 May;63(5):442-9; discussion 449-50. [1588306]
  4. Yogev R, Bar-Meir M. Management of brain abscesses in children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Feb;23(2):157-9. [14872183]
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