An anorectal abscess is a painful swelling near the anus or in the buttock. The swelling contains pus. 60% anorectal abscesses are superficial and resulting from infection in small anal glands present in between internal and external anal sphincters (intersphincteric space). They are known as a perianal abscess. 30% of anorectal abscesses are deep-seated and results in systemic infection. They are call Ischiorectal abscess. Submucous abscess, pelvirectal abscess and pilonidal abscess developed from versatile cause are comparatively less common. Inadequate and improper management of anorectal abscess may potentially cause complication like fistula formation.
Fast facts on Anorectal abscess-
* Anorectal abscess should be drained at the earliest.
* Conservative medical management almost invariably invites complication like fistula formation.
* Surgical drainage of pus reduces the chance of fistula formation by 50%.
What causes Anorectal abscess?
* Blocked and infected anal glands (cryptoglandular infection).
* Untreated anal fissure that becomes infected.
* Sexually transmitted infections.
* Penetrating injury of the perianal or buttock region.
* Crohn’s disease.
* Colon cancer.
What are the symptoms of Anorectal abscess?
* Constant and throbbing pain that worsens on sitting down.
* Swelling, redness and tenderness of the skin around the anus.
* Discharge of pus.
* Pain is often associated with bowel movement.
* All or some of the symptoms of a superficial abscess.
* Fever with chill and rigor.
* General weakness.
* Sometimes fever is the only symptom of the deep abscess.
The anorectal abscess should preferably be explored under general or spinal anesthesia. Medical management often fails and subsequently fistula is formed.