An anal abscess is a pus-filled lump that forms in the anus. An anal abscess causes pain, especially when sitting or having a bowel movement.
Anal abscess is generally characterized by a small red bump in the anal canal. In some cases, abscesses can also appear in the rectum (the end of the large intestine that connects to the anus).
If not treated immediately, an anal abscess can lead to the formation of an abnormal channel in the anus (anal fistula ). This condition will make the pain worse, even causing difficulty controlling bowel movements.
ymptoms of Anus Abscess
A common symptom of an anal abscess is a stabbing pain in the anus or rectum. This pain persists and gets worse when sitting, coughing, and defecating.
Other symptoms that arise from an anal abscess are:
- Fever and chills
- Body tired easily
- Difficult to urinate
- Irritation, swelling, and redness around the anus
- Pus or blood comes out of the anus
When to go to the doctor
Consult a doctor if the above symptoms appear. Anus abscess that is left can develop into an anal fistula , which is an abnormal channel that forms in the rectum. Anal fistulas must be treated with surgery and will usually take a long time to heal.
Go to the emergency room immediately if you have a high fever accompanied by vomiting, chills, difficulty defecating, and unbearable pain around the anus. These symptoms can indicate an infection that has spread to the bloodstream. If not treated quickly, patients can experience sepsis and death.
Causes of Anal Abscess
An anal abscess occurs when the glands around the anus become infected with bacteria. As a result, the gland enlarges and fills with pus. When the gland was ruptured, a collection of pus will come out and appear.
Causes of anal abscess include:
- Blockage of glands in the anus
- Anal fissure (wound or tear in the anus) that has an infection in the anal canal
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Injury to the anus
Anal Abscess Risk Factors
Anal abscess can occur in anyone, but is more at risk of attacking someone who has the following factors:
- Have inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease)
- Suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease, diabetes , diverticulitis , diarrhea , or constipation
- Have a weak immune system, for example due to HIV/AIDS
- Taking corticosteroids or chemotherapy
- Having anal sex (especially the recipient)
Anal Abscess Diagnosis
The doctor will ask about the symptoms experienced by the patient and perform a physical examination of the patient's rectal area. Through a physical examination, the doctor can distinguish whether the lump in the patient's rectum is an abscess or hemorrhoid.
The doctor will also perform investigations to determine the cause of the abscess that forms in the anus. The inspection includes:
- Blood tests , to detect diabetes, colitis or HIV/AIDS.
- Endoscopy or colonoscopy, to see the condition of the anal canal and rectum.
- Scan with ultrasound , CT scan or MRI , to detect the location of the abscess that is deeper and not visible on physical examination.
Anal Abscess Treatment
Anal abscess is treated with surgery. The type of surgery performed depends on the location of the abscess. If the abscess is located in an area that is not too deep, the doctor can simply perform minor surgery and usually the patient will be allowed to go home after the condition has recovered. However, if the abscess is deeper, the patient must be hospitalized.
Anal abscess surgery is performed by making an incision in the area of the abscess and removing pus from the rectum. After surgery, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and pain relievers, such as paracetamol. Patients are also advised to soak the anus in warm water or a sitz bath .
To help the healing process, patients can eat soft foods and contain high fiber , and drink lots of water. Patients can also use stool softeners to relieve pain during bowel movements.
Complications of Anal Abscess
If left untreated or not routinely checked after surgery an anal abscess can cause a number of complications below:
- Fistula years
- Continuous pain in the area of the abscess
- Abscess reappeared after surgery
- Unable to control bowel movements ( stool incontinence )
- Infection that spreads to the bloodstream (sepsis)
Prevention of Anal Abscess
There are several ways that can be done to prevent the formation of an anal abscess, including:
- One of the ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections is to use condoms or treat them immediately if they have the disease.
- Treating diseases that can increase the risk of developing an anal abscess, such as diabetes and colitis.
- Avoid having sex through the anus (anal).
- Maintain sexual and anal hygiene.
- Change the child's diaper regularly.
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