Perianal abscess

Perianal abscess is a collection of pus in the area around the anus that occurs as a result of an infection in the small glands located within the anal canal. Most patients with this condition present with pain, which can be severe. A small lump may also be present although in some patients, this may not always be obvious. It is also common for patients for patients to experience fever with perianal abscess.

Treatment for perianal abscess is surgical drainage i.e. to let the pus out. The wound is not closed but is allowed to heal by itself over several weeks. Special dressings may be required while the wound is healing. About 50% of patients with perianal abscess will go on to develop a perianal fistula, which may require further testing and treatment. Antibiotics may also be required.

Occasionally, the abscess can discharge by itself. However, it is not uncommon that the abscess is not fully drained which may still require an operation to fully drain the abscess and to clean up the infected abscess cavity.

Patients with Crohn’s disease can also develop perianal abscess as a result of inflammation in the anus. Perianal abscesses in Crohn’s disease tends to be multiple and recurs more commonly than patients without Crohn’s disease.

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