Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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 health care practitioner'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.