Anal abscess

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Overview

Abscess is the result of an acute infection, a small gland in the anus, when bacteria or foreign matter enters the gland tissue.

Certain conditions such as colitis or other inflammation of the intestine, can sometimes increase the likelihood of this infection.

After the abscess is drained, may persist channel that will link to the anal gland abscess from which appeared in the skin. Persistent infection and need to continue to drain the abscess, contributes to maintaining the passage (anal fistula), which predisposes to recurrent anal abscess.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Causes of anal abscess
3. Symptoms of anal abscess
4. When is time to seek medical
5. Diagnosis
6. Treatment of anal abscess
7. Risk factors
8. Prognosis


Causes of anal abscess

Apparently, perianal and perirectal abscesses develops in glands around the anus. Occasionally, perianal abscesses may develop in infected skin near the anus. Glands will stop, which will lead to bacterial infections.

When glands are filled with pus, these may break inside, releasing content in infected areas around the anus and rectum. This causes an abscess or a collection of pus in the spaces around the rectum or anus. Anal abscess may increase, causing fever, pain and bowel difficulties.

Some people are more likely to develop perianal and perirectal abscesses, including those who are in certain situations or suffer from these diseases:

- diabetes
- STDs
- HIV infection or AIDS (or those who have low white blood cell)
- Crohn’s disease
- fissures
- people who are taking immune suppression drugs (steroids or chemotherapy)
- pregnant women
- people who have entered foreign body in anus


Symptoms of anal abscess

Superficial anal abscesses can manifest the following symptoms:

- constant pain, throbbing, which is accentuated in sitting position
- irritation around the anus, including redness, tenderness
- discharge of pus
- constipation or pain associated with bowel movements

Deep anal abscess may cause less pain, but is often associated with:

- fever
- chills
- malaise.

Sometimes, fever is the only symptom of deep abscesses.


When is time to seek medical

If a person suspects a perirectal or perianal abscess should consult his doctor. Diagnosis is not always easy to establish and your doctor may consider necessary investigations or may require the opinion of other specialists.

Go to hospital if you have any of these symptoms:

- high fever or chills
- rectal or anal pain accentuated
- inability to have a bowel movement or stool painful
- persistent vomiting
- any other unusual signs or symptoms that might indicate an emergency.


Diagnosis

The doctor will try to learn more about the health of the patient. To discuss details about anal abscess could be quite embarrassing, but this information is important for medical personnel who will maintain the confidentiality of discussions. Honest answers will help determine the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.

It will be necessary that the doctor to examine the patient. He will explain that certain stages of the examination that may be uncomfortable and will be careful to protect the patient.

The doctor will provide clear answers to patient’s questions. The patient must understand the correct treatment plan. Sometimes the diagnosis is obvious and need further investigations. In some cases, there will be blood and urine, and imaging tests, CT, MRI, etc.

Although perianal abscess symptoms are relieved with home care or with acetaminophen, the patient should be examined by a doctor. Abscesses must be evaluated and treated by a doctor. You should learn that the cases when perianal abscesses treats for itself are very rarely.


Treatment of anal abscess

Prompt surgical drainage is important before the abscess breaks. Superficial anal abscesses can be drained in the doctor’s office with local anesthesia. Larger abscesses may require hospitalization.

After the procedure, for the majority of patients are prescribed drugs for pain relief. For healthy people, antibiotics are not necessary, but these are recommended for those with diabetes or low immunity.

Sometimes surgery to remove anal fistula can be performed simultaneously with surgery to treat an abscess. However, after an abscess is drained, after four to six weeks or later develops an anal fistula. Anal fistula surgery is usually a separate procedure that can be done with a short hospital admission.

After abscess or fistula surgery, the discomfort is minor and can be controlled with pain medications. The recovery period is usually short.

Those who support the operation to treat anal abscess, would be encouraged to wash the area, three or four times a day. Also, they will be prescribed laxatives to ease discomfort of intestinal transit. Some people may be advised to wear pads to prevent soiling clothes local runoff.

Complications after surgery may include:

- infection
- anal fissure
- recurrent abscess
- scarring.

After an abscess or anal fistula heal properly, it is unlikely that the problem to come back. However, in order to prevent their recurrence is still advisable to follow medical advice.


Risk factors

Risk factors that cause anal abscess include:

- local cuts eliminated in the stool caused by food (egg shell, bone fish), swallowed objects (rings, coins, paper clips)
- penetrating wounds caused by constipation, enema, vibrators, anal sex, bottles
- injections of such procedures as removal of hemorrhoids.
- diseases: hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, granulomatous disease, weakened immune systems.


Prognosis

Most cases of perianal and perirectal abscess will be treated successfully and they shall recover. In case of complications, additional tests will be made and an appropriate treatment will be prescribed. Anal abscess untreated can lead to unnecessary complications such as rectal fistulas, extensive surgical debridement or necrotizing fasciitis (rarely death).

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