An anal/rectal abscess happens when pus fills the anus. This can lead to a number of painful and uncomfortable side effects. Severe cases that do not heal properly may require surgery to correct.
What Causes Anal/Rectal Abscesses?
Anal/rectal abscesses can be caused by an infected anal fissure, a sexually transmitted disease, or a blocked anal gland. There are several risk factors that could make you more likely to develop this condition, including:
- Undergoing chemotherapy
- Anal intercourse
- Compromised immune system
- Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease
Children that develop anal fissures will have a higher risk of abscesses later in life. Anal fissures may appear in children who experience frequent constipation.
Anal/Rectal Abscess Symptoms
How do you know if you have an anal/rectal abscess? Patients describe a constant throbbing pain in the area. It’s often accompanied by increased pain during bowel movements. You may also notice:
- Swelling around the anus
- Rectal discharge
- Rectal bleeding
- Red lump along rim of the anus
How to Treat Anal/Rectal Abscesses
A majority of patients will require the help of a doctor to make an anal/rectal abscess go away. The simplest approach is to have a medical professional drain the pus. This is usually performed as an office procedure with local anesthesia. Afterwards, the reduced pressure will allow tissue to heal.
If the problem is ignored, it can turn into anal fistulas that will require surgery. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons reported that around half of anal abscess cases will eventually turn into anal fistula.
Quick treatment is the best way to avoid surgery and alleviate symptoms. Contact your gastroenterologist to learn more.