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Perianal abscess: what is it, causes and treatment

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The perianal, anal or anorectal abscess, is the formation of a cavity filled with pus in the skin of the region around the year, which can cause symptoms such as: pain when defecating or sitting down, the appearance of a painful lump in the anal region, bleeding or elimination of yellowish secretion.

Generally, the abscess forms when the bacteria infect the region and cause great inflammation, with accumulation of pus. The treatment is performed by a surgeon, it is necessary to drain the abscess and in some cases, it is necessary to use antibiotics for a few days.

What are the causes

The perianal abscess is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin of the year and perineum region, generally due to the obstruction of the glands that produce the urine of the anal region, facilitating the installation of bacteria. Some of the conditions that cause risk to the formation of the abscess are:



  • Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis;

  • Suppurative hidradenitis;

  • Rectal infections such as amoebiasis, lymphogranuloma venereum, tuberculosis or rectal schistosomiasis;

  • anal fissure;



  • anorectal cancer;

  • compromised immunity;

  • Having had an anorectal surgery, such as hemorrhoidectomy, episiotomy or prostatectomy, for example.

Generally, these conditions provoke inflammation in the tissue of the rectum and year, facilitating the accumulation of bacteria and the formation of pus. See more information about the causes, symptoms and treatment of proctitis.

main symptoms

The main symptom of perianal abscess is pain in the region of the year and perineum, mainly when evacuating or sitting, which can become constant as the lesion continues. Know other main causes of pain when defecating.

In case the location of the abscess is more external, a lump can be observed in the anal region, painful, hot and red. In some cases, there may be bleeding and fever. When the abscess ruptures, purulent secretion may come out, reducing pressure on the skin and pain.

The diagnosis of anal abscess is carried out by a general surgeon or proctologist, through the analysis of the region, imaging tests such as anoscope, ultrasound, computerized tomography or magnetic resonance, which identify the size and depth of the lesion; as a complete hematology, which can help to evaluate the severity of the infection.

How is the treatment performed?

The treatment of anal abscess is carried out through drainage, by the general surgeon or proctologist, as quickly as possible, because the persistence of the abscess increases the risk of a generalized infection.

Depending on the size and location of the abscess, the drainage surgery can be performed under local anesthesia or with more potent anesthesia such as spinal or epidural anesthesia. In large abscesses, it may be necessary to drain them for a few days in the same location.

To treat a fistula, the doctor may make a cut or place a material to stimulate healing and wound healing. Likewise, antibiotics may be indicated if it is a large abscess and an extensive inflamed area or if the patient presents risks of generalized infection, as in the case of diabetes, compromised immunity or obesity, for example.

Postoperative care

After the surgery, the doctor may recommend rest, use of analgesics and perform baths with tibia water, due to its anti-inflammatory effect.

The doctor will schedule reevaluaciones in 1 to 2 weeks, to observe the healing and identify if there is drainage of secretions that indicate fistulas. In some cases, the abscess may reappear, especially if the initial treatment was not carried out correctly or if there is an illness that causes inflammation of the site and facilitates the formation of the lesion.

possible complications

It is very common that the abscess originates from an anal fistula, which is the formation of a trayect that connects the regions, which can arise between the year and the vagina, uterus, urinary tract or other parts of the intestine, for example. Know what is the anal fistula and how to treat it.

In addition, other complications that the anal abscess can cause, are the compromise of the anal sphincter, causing fecal incontinence or a necrotizing infection, which when the bacteria reach tissues such as skin, muscle and grease.

When the treatment is not carried out correctly, it is possible that the bacteria reach the bloodstream, causing a generalized infection, which can even lead to death.

Verified by RJ9823 – Public Utility – cc2.0

Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

Tua Saude Website – REF93782 – Verified

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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