Perianal abscess

Anorectal abscess is an abscess adjacent to the anus and rectum. It arises from infection of anal glands leading to abscess formation.
Perianal abscesses usually present with pain and discharge in the perianal region. They may also have a temperature and chills. Abscesses also lead to fistula formation and recurrent abscesses may occur due to underlying anal fistula.
Anorectal abscess are more prevalent in patients who are immunocompromised or have diabetes. Crohn’s disease increases the risk of perianal abscess significantly.
History and a detailed clinical examination are usually diagnostic of anal abscess and fistula. Other investigations may include endoscopy, CT scan, MRI or trans-rectal ultrasound.
Anal abscesses are usually treated with surgery (incision and drainage) to drain the abscess. This may be done under local anaesthesia but general anaesthesia allows detailed examination. In addition antibiotics may be needed.

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