Perianal abscess is accumulation of pus near the anus. It is usually a very painful condition causing a lot of discomfort while sitting. There are numerous glands lining the anal canal. These glands may get infected leading to an anal or perianal abscess.
- Anal fissure (a tear in the lining of the anal canal) may get infected leading to an anal abscess.
- Sexually transmitted infections in persons engaging in unprotected anal sex.
- Blocked anal glands
Diabetics, persons on steroid therapy, people with bowel diseases (such as colitis, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, crohn’s disease), persons being receptive partner in anal intercourse and persons suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease are at higher risk of developing perianal abscess.
- Throbbing anal pain which worsens on sitting
- Reddish boil like swelling around the anus
- Painful bowel movements
- Pus discharge from around the anal region
- Fever with chills may be present in case of a deep abscess
COMPLICATIONS OF UNTREATED PERIANAL ABSCESS:
- Anal fistulas (Fistula in ano) which are small tunnel like abnormal connections between the abscess site and skin ,may develop in about half of the patients with perianal abscess. The fistula may continuously discharge pus. Sometimes the patient presents with a fistula with an underlying perianal abscess.
Surgery is needed to cure anal fistulas as in some cases if the external opening of the fistula closes spontaneously and the tract persists,it may lead to recurrent infection and recurrent perianal abscess.
- Treat chronic constipation
- Treat anal fissures promptly
- Maintain high levels of personal hygiene
- Using condoms during anal intercourse is important
- Frequent diaper changes in infants and toddlers
- Proper cleaning during diaper changes in infants and toddlers
- Control of diabetes
Anal abscess can usually be diagnosed by a surgeon by examination of the area and digital rectal examination. Sometimes the doctor may ask for an ultrasound examination, CT or MRI to determine the extend of abscess. In certain situations where the condition is extremely painful the doctor may examine you under anesthesia.
TREATMENT for Perianal Abscess:
Incision and drainage under local anesthesia done as a day care procedure is the treatment. Surgical drainage of large or deeper abscesses may require hospitalization. Antibiotic therapy may be needed.
POST OPERATIVE RECOVERY:
- Post operative pain and discomfort may be relieved with analgesics
- Sitz bath three to four times a day is advised
- Stool softeners are recommended to ease pain during bowel movements
- A gauze pad or mini pad may be worn to prevent soiling of clothes by the drainage
- A person may expect to return back to work or school within few days of the procedure
Drainage of an abscess is rarely associated with complications and if any are minimal.