Ano-Rectal Abscess

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Overview

Anorectal abscess is most commonly a self-limited process thought to result from obstruction and infection of anal glands located in the crypts along the dentate line. Clinicians should be aware that perianal Crohn disease, trauma, and malignancy can cause anorectal abscess or fistula. Anorectal abscesses typically manifest with acute pain in the perianal area, acutely painful defecation, an indurated painful area, or fever. Most anorectal abscesses manifest with pain and swelling either superficially at the anal verge or deeper within the ischiorectal fossa. These patients have obvious tenderness.Many glands are found within the body's anus. If one of these glands becomes clogged, it can get infected, and an abscess can develop. An anorectal abscess is a collection of pus under the skin in the area of the anus and rectum.

Symptoms

These are possible signs of an anorectal abscess:


Pain or discomfort near the anus or buttocks

Fatigue

Fever

Night sweats

Constipation or painful bowel movements

Swelling or redness near the anus

Lump or painful hardened tissue near the anus

Pain in the lower abdomen

Pus drainage near the anus or buttocks

Causes

Most perianal abscesses form when a gland is blocked or clogged inside of your anus. There are many glands in your anus. An abscess forms when bacteria or stool (poop) gets trapped inside one of these glands and gets infected.

Blocked glands in the anal area.

Infection of an anal fissure.

Sexually transmitted infection (STD)

Trauma.

Risk factors

These conditions may increase your chance of developing an anorectal abscess:


Pregnancy

Diabetes

Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammatory bowel condition

Certain medicines, such as chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment

Drugs that suppress the immune system after an organ transplant

Foreign objects placed in the rectum (usually during sex)

Anal fissures, or cracks, related to constipation that continues for a long time

Sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Anal sex.

Chemotherapy medicines used to treat cancer.

Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis)

Use of corticosteroid medicines.

Weakened immune system (such as from HIV/AIDS)

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Complications

Infection

Anal fissure

An abscess returning

Scarring

After an anal abscess or fistula has properly healed, it's unlikely that the problem will come back. To prevent one from doing so, however, it's important to follow the advice of your doctor or colon and rectal surgeon.

Prevention

 Prevention or prompt treatment of STDs may prevent an anorectal abscess from forming. Use condoms during intercourse, including anal sex, to prevent such infections. In infants and toddlers, frequent diaper changes and proper cleaning during diaper changes can help prevent both anal fissures and abscesses.

Wash your hands regularly.

Properly clean skin injuries, even if they're minor.

Apply an antibacterial ointment to skin injuries and cover with a bandaid.

Wash your face when you wake up and before bed.

Encourage family members to wash their hands.