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Is surgery necessary for a carbuncle in the armpit?

Q: My 62-year-old relative is diabetic with her sugar levels under control. Fasting: 115, PP: 138. She has recently developed a carbuncle (boil) under her right arm pit. The size of the carbuncle is equivalent to a big potato. It was painful initially, but now there is no pain or pus and it is as hard as a stone. The doctor has prescribed Fafex 500 mg twice a day; Chymoral forte 3 tablets daily plus a pain killer and has advised surgery of the carbuncle, though it is subsiding and getting reduced in size and volume. Is surgery a must? Can it be avoided if possible? What is the non-surgical feasibility and is there an alternative treatment?

A:If it is really a carbuncle as you describe then surgery is the correct option in order to drain the pus. If however it is just mild inflammation without any pus formation, it may settle with antibiotics. Only the treating doctor can make out the difference. If it requires surgery then it should be done early.

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