An abscess is referred to as a collection of pus in small glands. Perianal abscess is a painful swelling formed by release of pus near the anus. Perianal abscess appear as red swelling of small anal glands surrounded in the region. If left untreated perianal abscess can lead to fistula were a connection is formed between the skin and the abscess. Some abscess will heal naturally while some causes extreme pain and the swelling ruptures causing bleeding from the rectum. Most used treatment for perianal abscess is surgical incision or drainage of the pus from the anal glands.

Causes of perianal abscesses

A perianal abscess can be developed from various reasons such as:

  • Infection of anal glands
  • Tear of skin in the anal canal
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Blockage of anal glands
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease
  • Other medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV or AIDS

In some toddles or children who have a history of constipation can also have the occurrence of perianal abscess.

Symptoms of perianal abscesses

Most common symptoms associated this perianal abscess include:

  • Severe pain especially while sitting
  • Irritation, swelling and redness of the anal region.
  • Release of pus
  • Constipation
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Fever
  • Rectal bleeding

When the abscess is superficial the person can actually feel the lump of swollen glands near the anus. If the abscess is deep seated inside the rectum, mostly in those having inflammatory bowel diseases can result in discomfort in the abdominal area also.


Digital rectum examination is conducted to valid the presence of perianal abscess. Other diagnose methods include conducting a blood test, ultrasound scan, CT scan or an MRI. In some cases doctors recommend for colonoscopy, were the colon is examined using a lighted, flexible scope.

Treatment of perianal Abscesses

Surgical drainage is the most common available treatment for perianal abscess with a local anesthetic. This method is used before the abscess ruptures. For large and deep seated abscess patients are required to be hospitalized and require a help of anesthesiologist. A catheter is used to drain out the pus completely. Once the pus is released the abscess are left unstitched and open. This is why because if the abscess is stitched closed pus may get collected. Leaving it open will drain out the pus completely from the abscess. If the patients have diabetes or low immune system then the doctors ask them to say in hospital for few days to watch for any Infections.

Patients are prescribed with antibiotics for pain relief and faster recovery after the surgery. In rare case fistula surgery are also combined with the procedure. In most cases fistula are developed after few weeks from the drainage of the anal glands.

After undergoing surgical drainage and Fistula surgery, patients are advised to take special care by soaking the affected area in hot water for few days. Stoll softeners are recommended to ease bowel movements. Antibiotics are prescribed to those who have diabetes and low immune system.