Perianal Abscess

What is a Perianal Abscess?

A perianal abscess is a painful, pus-filled swelling near the anus or rectum. Most of these abscesses are caused by a blockage in the anal gland that eventually leads to an infection. Left untreated, perianal abscesses may form anal fistulas or progress into a systemic infection.

Causes of Perianal Abscess

Most perianal abscesses occur when bacteria or foreign material enter and clog an anal gland, or when an anal fissure becomes infected.

Risk Factors for Perianal Abscess

  • Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Colitis
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic diarrhea and constipation
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases

Symptoms of Perianal Abscess

Perianal abscesses are mainly characterized by a dull, throbbing pain in the anal or rectal region that gets worse when sitting or defecating. The boil-like abscess may be tender and warm to the touch, and may drain pus spontaneously over time.

Perianal abscesses accompanied by fever, fatigue, chills, constipation, vomiting, extreme pain, or rectal bleeding and discharge, may be indicative of a serious infection and usually requires immediate medical attention.

Diagnosing Perianal Abscesses

Most of the time, a Singapore colorectal surgeon diagnoses a perianal abscess through the patient’s medical history and a physical exam. Through visual inspection and palpation, the doctor will usually check for redness, swelling and pain around the anal and rectal area, as well as distinguish between an anal abscess and haemorrhoids.

Perianal abscesses that develop deep within the anal canal (ischiorectal abscesses), may not manifest physical symptoms and may require blood tests and a colonoscopy. Sometimes, imaging tests such as a CT scan, MRI and a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) may be required.

Dr Kam Ming Hian of colorectal surgery clinic in Singapore, Kam Colorectal, has performed thousands of gastroscopy and colonoscopy procedures, and is well-versed in laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Aside from this, Dr Kam also specializes in the treatment of haemorrhoids and anal fissures, abscesses and fistulas. Call 6443-1005 today to schedule an appointment.

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