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Anal Abscess (cont.)

Anal Abscess Medical Treatment

Depending upon the severity of the abscess and any other medical problems, treatment may be accomplished on an outpatient or inpatient basis. The treatment plan should be explained to the patient in detail.

  • Minor surgery may be performed in the healthcare professional's office or in the emergency department using local anesthesia (an injection in the infected area), and possibly IV sedation. Most patients are referred to a surgeon for treatment of perirectal abscesses because the abscess may involve additional structures or require more debridement that may not be apparent until it is surgically explored. Patients should be able to go home when they awake and will be given prescription pain medication for the first few days with some uncomplicated abscesses.
  • Alternatively, the surgery may be done in the operating room by a surgeon using spinal anesthesia (the patient is awake and numb from the waist down) or general anesthesia (patient is "asleep" under sedation). The hospital stay may be overnight or several days.
  • Admission to the hospital may be required with an IV line for fluids, antibiotics, and pain medicine.
  • Patients may need an update of their tetanus booster, if this has not been done in the past 5-10 years.
  • Blood and other tests may need to be repeated to evaluate the patient's progress after treatment.

Anal Abscess Follow-up

Patients may have pain for several days following surgery, but should improve over time.

  • Patients may not have stitches. Infected wounds such as abscesses are left open to drain. If they were stitched shut they would just fill with pus again. There may be packing left in the wound, which usually will be removed by the healthcare professional after a few days.
  • Patients may need to take an antibiotic and pain medication for several days, depending on their condition.
  • Using stool softeners and adhering to good hygiene, such as sitz baths after every bowel movement, decreases the patient's discomfort and helps recovery.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, DO; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine

REFERENCES: Perirectal Abscess.

PubMed Anorectal Abscess.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/16/2016

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Perianal Abscess »

A perianal abscess represents an infection of the soft tissues surrounding the anal canal, with formation of a discrete abscess cavity.

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