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Anal Abscess

WHAT IS AN ANAL ABSCESS?

An anal abscess is a collection of infection/pus that develops in the anorectal region. Symptoms may include anorectal pain, fever, swelling, redness and warmth of the skin. Medical attention should be sought if these symptoms occur.

At Loma Linda University Health, we’re here to assist you. From the moment you contact us regarding this condition, we do everything we can to make sure your treatment runs smoothly. Our goal is to make your experience as convenient, comfortable and stress-free as possible.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ANAL ABSCESS?

Some symptoms that indicate you may have an anal abscess include:

  • Pain or swelling in the anal area or buttocks
  • Pus drainage near the anus
  • Fever, chills or night sweats
  • A lump in the anal area
  • Painful bowel movements

WHAT CAUSES AN ANAL ABSCESS?

Causes of an anal abscess may include:

  • A blocked anal gland
  • A sexually transmitted disease
  • An infected anal fissure
  • Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Diabetes

HOW IS AN ANAL ABSCESS DIAGNOSED?

To determine whether you have an anal abscess, the physician will ask questions about your condition and conduct a physical exam. This is necessary so you can be given proper treatment. As part of a comprehensive diagnostic service, the doctor may also order blood tests, urine tests, X-ray, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound.

HOW IS AN ANAL ABSCESS TREATED?

Depending upon the severity of the abscess and any other medical problems, treatment may be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Treatment for anal abcess can include:

  • Antibiotics
  • An incision and drainage (I&D) procedure
  • Minor surgery in the physician's office using local anesthesia (an injection in the infected area), and possibly IV sedation
  • A more invasive surgery in the operating room by a surgeon using spinal anesthesia (the patient is awake and numb from the waist down) or general anesthesia (patient is under sedation)

At Loma Linda University Health, anal abscess is treated with a customized care plan for the individual patient. The I&D procedure may be performed in the clinic, emergency room or operating room.

WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF ANAL ABSCESS?

The complications of an anal abscess may include:

  • Anal fistula
  • More serious infection
  • Continuing and increasing pain

WHO IS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING AN ANAL ABSCESS?

People who are most at risk of developing an anal abscess include:

  • People with a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • People with an infected anal fissure
  • People with diabetes
  • People with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis

NEXT STEPS

Seek medical intervention. If you believe you may have an anal abscess, be proactive and seek medical intervention. To request an evaluation at Loma Linda University Health, contact your provider or schedule the appointment through MyChart.