Perirectal abscesses present with severe pain, redness or swelling of the skin around the anal opening. These abscesses arise from small anal glands (crypts) higher up in the anal canal and track outward toward the skin. After an abscess has been drained, a fistula (tunnel) may persist connecting the anal gland from which the abscess arose to the skin. If this occurs, persistent drainage from the outside opening may indicate the persistence of this fistula. If the outside opening of the tunnel heals, recurrent abscess may develop.

SURGICAL INCISION and DRAINAGE - draining the pus from the infected cavity by making an opening in the skin near the anus to relieve the pressure. Often, this can be done in the doctor's office using a local anesthetic. A large or deep abscess may require hospitalization and use of a different anesthetic method. Hospitalization may also be necessary for patients prone to more serious infections, such as diabetics or people with decreased immunity. Antibiotics are not usually an alternative to draining the pus, because antibiotics are carried by the blood stream and do not penetrate the fluid within an abscess.

ANAL FISTULOTOMY - involves cutting a small portion of the anal sphincter muscle to open the tunnel, joining the external and internal opening and converting the tunnel into a groove that will then heal from within outward. Most of the time, fistula surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis or with a short hospital stay.

Board Certified & Practicing Medicine for Over 20 Years