Anal Abscess

An anal abscess is a pus-filled lump in the anus. An anal abscess causes pain, especially when sitting or passing stools.

Anal abscesses are generally characterized by small red lumps in the anal canal. In some cases, an abscess can also appear in the rectum (the end of the large intestine that connects to the anus).

If not treated promptly, an anal abscess can lead to the formation of an abnormal tube in the anus (anal fistula). This condition will make the pain worse and even cause difficulty controlling bowel movements.

Symptoms of anal abscess

A common symptom of an anal abscess is severe pain in the anus or rectum. This pain is constant and gets worse when you sit down, cough, and have a bowel movement.

Other symptoms that appear due to an anal abscess are:

  • Constipation
  • Fever and chills
  • The body gets tired easily
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Irritation, swelling, and redness around the anus
  • Pus or blood coming out of the rectum

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor if the above symptoms appear. An anal abscess that is left untreated can develop into an anal fistula, which is an abnormal tube that forms in the rectum. Anal fistula needs to be treated surgically and usually takes a long time to heal.

Go to the emergency room right away if you have a high temperature accompanied by vomiting, chills, difficulty defecating, and unbearable pain around the anus. These symptoms could indicate an infection that has spread to the bloodstream. If not treated quickly, those affected could suffer sepsis and die.

Causes of anal abscess

An anal abscess occurs when the glands around the anus are infected with bacteria. As a result, these glands swell and fill with pus. When the gland bursts, a collection of pus will come out and appear.

Causes of an anal abscess include:

  • Blockage of glands in the anus
  • Anal fissure (an ulcer or tear in the anus) that contains an infection in the anal canal
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Injury to the anus

Risk factors for anal abscess

Anus abscess can happen to anyone, but they are more at risk of attacking someone with the following factors:

  • Suffering from inflammation of the intestine (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease).
  • He suffers from pelvic inflammation, diabetes, diverticulitis, diarrhea or constipation
  • Having a weak immune system, for example due to HIV / AIDS
  • Take corticosteroid medications or chemotherapy
  • Have anal sex (especially recipients)

Diagnosing an anal abscess

The doctor will ask about the patient's symptoms and perform a physical examination of the rectal area. Through a physical examination, the doctor can tell whether a lump in the patient's rectum is an abscess or a hemorrhoid.

The doctor will also perform tests to determine the cause of the abscess that has formed in the anus. The examination includes:

  • A blood test to screen for diabetes, colitis, or HIV / AIDS
  • An endoscopy or colonoscopy, to see the condition of the anal canal and rectum.
  • Ultrasound scan, CT scan, or MRI scan, to discover the location of the abscess deeper and not visible on a physical examination.

Anal abscess treatment

Anal abscess is treated with surgery. The type of surgery performed depends on the location of the abscess. If the abscess is located in an area that is not very deep, the doctor can simply perform a minor surgery and the patient is usually allowed to go home after the condition has recovered. However, if the abscess is deeper, the patient must be hospitalized.

Anal abscess surgery is performed by making an incision in the abscess and draining pus from the rectum. After surgery, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and pain relievers, such as paracetamol. Patients are also advised to soak the anus in a warm water or sitz bath.

To aid the healing process, patients can eat soft, high-fiber foods and drink plenty of water. Patients can also use stool softeners to reduce pain during bowel movements.

Anal abscess complications

If not routinely treated or examined after anal abscess surgery, it can cause a number of complications below:

  • I suffered fistula
  • Constant pain in the area of ​​the abscess
  • The cysts appear again after surgery
  • Inability to control bowel movements (faecal incontinence)
  • Infection that spreads into the bloodstream (sepsis)

Anal abscess prevention

There are several methods you can do to prevent an anal abscess, including:

One way to prevent an STD is to use a condom or treat it right away if you have the disease.
Treating diseases that can increase the risk of developing an anal abscess, such as diabetes and colitis.
Avoid having anal sex.
Maintains genital and rectal cleanliness.
Change baby diapers regularly.

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