Anal Abscess (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care for an Anal Abscess
If a person suspects they have a perirectal or perianal abscess they should see a healthcare professional. The diagnosis is not always easy to make, and the healthcare professional may need to do tests or consult with specialists.
Go to an emergency department when you have any of the following symptoms:
- High fever or shaking chills
- Significant rectal/anal pain
- Inability to have a bowel movement, or a painful bowel movement
- Persistent vomiting
- Any other unusual signs or symptoms that may indicate an emergency condition
Anal Abscess Diagnosis
The healthcare professional will ask questions about the patient's condition. Give the healthcare professional all necessary information. Discussing the details may be embarrassing, but healthcare professionals and other medical personnel are required to maintain confidentiality. Honest responses to the healthcare professional's questions will help provide the patient faster appropriate care.
- The healthcare professional will then examine the patient and should explain the parts of the exam may be uncomfortable and will be careful to protect the patient's modesty.
- The healthcare professional should provide clear answers to any questions the patient asks; they should understand the treatment plan.
- Sometimes the diagnosis is obvious, and no tests are needed. At other times, blood and urine tests and special imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound may be needed. The healthcare professional may also consult other specialists to confirm the diagnosis or to come up with the best treatment plan.
- acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), may help control the pain and fever.
- If the abscess opens by itself there will be a release of pus, and possibly some relief of pain and fever. Regardless, the abscess are still should be examined by a healthcare professional.
- Even if the symptoms improve with home care, the affected individual should seek medical attention. Abscesses need to be evaluated and treated by a healthcare professional. They rarely resolve on their own. Many people need further special treatment, especially with perirectal abscesses, to avoid complications or a return of the abscess.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/16/2016
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