Anal Abscess: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

Anal Abscess is one of the most common types of diseases related to anus and anal canal in which a localized collection of pus develops in the underlying tissues of anus. Anal Abscess is a painful condition that may also lead to an Anal Fistula, which is a small infected channel that abnormally develops and connects the site of Abscess and the skin. It has been observed that around 50% of patients develop Anal Fistula along with Anal Abscess and this is can be a cause bleeding when passing stool.
Here is a brief overview of Anal Abscess: its symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment.

What are the symptoms of Anal Abscess?

The symptoms of superficial Abscess include:

  • Pain which is constant, throbbing and becomes more severe when sitting down.
  • Skin irritation, redness and swelling around the anus.
  • Discharge of pus.
  • Pain associated with a hard, dry bowel movement.

The symptoms of deeper Abscess include fever, chills and malaise. Sometimes fever is the only symptom of this condition.

What causes Anal Abscess?

Infection in small anal glands, blocked anal glands and sexually transmitted infections are the main causes of the condition.

What are the risk factors of Anal Abscess?

The risk factors of developing this condition are Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis, Diabetes and Pelvic inflammatory disease. Use of certain medications can also increase the risk of developing the disease.

How the condition diagnosed?

The most common type of clinical evaluation to diagnose the condition is Digital Rectal Exam. Some patients may require additional tests for screening Diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, rectal cancer and sexually transmitted infections. The doctor can also ask the patient for CT scan, MRI or Ultrasound depending on the individual conditions.

What are Anal Abscess treatment options?

Prompt surgical drainage is required before the Abscess erupts. Superficial Abscesses can be drained in a doctor’s office with local anesthesia. The drainage of deep or large Abscesses requires hospitalization and general anesthesia. After the procedure, pain relief medications including antibiotics recommended by the doctor to diabetic patients or those with decreased immunity. Medications are not needed for healthy people.

Often, Fistula may develop after four to six weeks of Abscess surgery. Sometimes, Fistulas might not develop for months or even years. A separate procedure of Fistula surgery is needed if the Fistulas develop. It is performed on an outpatient basis or at times, a short hospital stay is needed. Immediately after the Abscess or Fistula surgery, patient feels minimal discomfort that can be treated with pain medications. Usually, the doctor advises patients to soak the affected area in warm water bath 3-4 times per day. Stool softeners also recommended reducing pain after hard, dry bowel movements. Some patients may be advised to use mini-pad preventing drainage from spoiling their clothes.

The rare complications after surgery are infections, anal fissure, abscess returning and scarring. The patients are advised to call the doctor immediately, if they experience any of these complications.
Once, Abscess is properly healed then it’s unlikely that the condition will come back.

Book an appointment at GI Endoscopy Practice:

The Board Certified physicians at our center in NJ are highly qualified and experienced to treat the condition of Anal Abscess. We provide a proper treatment plan tailored according to individual conditions. The trained specialists perform tests for diagnoses the disease using highly advanced medical equipment. For more information about any gastrointestinal disease, please book an online appointment right now!

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