Anorectical Abscess

General Illness Information

Common Name:


Medical Term: Anorectal Abscess

Description: An abscess (collection of pus due to infection) that develops in the area around the anus and rectum. They occur more frequently in men and in people with digestive diseases. They may occur on the edge of the anal opening or deeper in the rectum.


  • Common bacteria such as staphylococci and E. coli are most common cause.
  • Fungal infections sometime cause abscesses.


  • Avoid constipation
  • Don’t use enemas.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Rectal redness.
  • Swelling in superficial abscesses.
  • Rectal tenderness.
  • Throbbing pain.
  • Fever and other toxic symptoms with deep abscesses.
  • Pain, when having bowel movement.

Risk Factors

  • Injections for internal hemorrhoids
  • Enema tip abrasions
  • Puncture wounds from eggshells or fish bones
  • Foreign objects
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoid
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Chronic granulomatous disease
  • Immunodeficiency disorders
  • Hematologic malignancies.

Diagnosis & Treatment

This is a clinical diagnosis. Blood tests may show elevated white cell count. Proctoscopy or sigmoidoscopy may be performed sometimes to establish a diagnosis.

General Measures:

  • Treatment involves surgery to open and drain the abscess.
  • Local anesthetic used during surgical procedure. For abscess deeper in rectum, a general anesthetic is frequently used.
  • Sitz baths every 2-4 hours after surgery. Sit in a bathtub with 6-8 inches of warm water, for 20 minutes.
  • Heating pad, heat lamp or warm compress as needed for pain.
  • Prevent constipation. Don’t suppress the urge to have a bowel movement, even though you may anticipate pain. Constipation can increase pressure at the wound site.
  • Follow doctor’s instructions for dressing changes and keeping surgical area clean.


  • Antibiotics – only for toxicity
  • Stool softening laxatives.


Resume work and normal activity as soon as possible


An increase in fiber in the diet may help reduce risk of constipation

Possible Complications :

  • Possible anorectal fistula.
  • Possible rectovaginal fistula
  • Fecal incontinence due to rupture through sphincter muscle
  • Recurrence of abscess if underlying cause not corrected


  • Slow recovery depending on extent of disease and concurrent illnesses.
  • Complete healing by 6 months if no complications


‘Nothing Specified’.

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