Perianal Abscess


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What Is An Anal Abscess?


An abscess is a collection of pus in any localised space in the body. An anal abscess is one that develops in the tissues around the anus.


What Is The Cause Of An Anal Abscess?


A number of small glands are normally present between the inner and outer layers of the anal sphincter muscle. Bacteria may lodge in these glands, setting up an infection. An abscess develops from this infective process. This may extend to various areas around the anal canal to involve the anal sphincter muscle and surrounding structures. The abscess may enlarge and burst through the overlying skin or may be drained by surgical treatment.


What Are The Symptoms Of Abscess?


As the amount of pus in an abscess increases, the pressure within it rises. This produces constant throbbing pain which continues until the pus escapes. Other symptoms are fever and sweating.


How Is An Abscess Treated?


The pus is drained from the abscess cavity by making an opening through the overlying skin. This may be done under local anaesthesia in the doctor’s office. A large abscess may require wider drainage, under general anaesthesia. Hospital admission is needed for such a procedure. Antibiotics may be used to control the spread of infection, but antibiotics alone will not cure an abscess. Drainage of the pus is always necessary.


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