What is a Perianal Abscess?
A perianal abscess or anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus or rectum. Ninety per cent of abscesses are the result of an acute infection in the internal glands of the anus.
Occasionally, bacteria, faecal material, or foreign matter can clog an anal gland and tunnel into the tissue around the anus or rectum, where it may then collect in a cavity called an abscess.
Some other risk factors include:
– Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which are inflammatory bowel diseases that cause the body to attack healthy tissue
– A compromised immune system due to illnesses like HIV or AIDS
– Anal sex, which can increase the risk of anal abscesses in both men and women
– Use of the medication prednisone or other steroids
Toddlers or children that have a history of anal fissures (tears in the anal sphincter) are also at a higher risk for developing anal abscesses later on. Such anal fissures might occur in children who have a history of constipation.
What are the Symptoms of a Perianal Abscess?
Throbbing and constant pain in the anal area is probably one of the most common and immediately noticeable symptoms of perianal abscesses.
The pain is usually accompanied by swelling in the anal area and increased pain during bowel movements.
Other common signs of an anal abscess include:
– Rectal discharge or bleeding
– Swelling or tenderness of the skin around the anus
You may also experience rectal bleeding or urinary symptoms such as difficulty urinating.
Anal abscesses may also occur deeper in the rectum, most often in those who have inflammatory bowel diseases. This can result in some pain or discomfort in the abdominal area.
How is a Perianal Abscess Treated?
A perianal abscess will typically be treated through a surgical incision and drainage. Our doctor will make an incision to drain the infection. In some cases, our doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics to treat a perianal abscess.