WHAT IS PERIANAL ABSCESS?
A perianal abscess (abscess – a cavity filled with pus) is caused by an infection of the soft tissues surrounding the anal canal. The severity of the abscess is variable and could be associated with or lead to the formation of an anal fistula.
WHAT CAUSES A PERIANAL ABSCESS?
There are normally 4-10 anal glands that lubricate the anal canal. Obstruction of the anal crypts results in stagnation of the secretions of these glands and when subsequently infected, an abscess is formed.
PROBLEMS DUE TO A PERIANAL ABSCESS
- Perianal pain or discomfort often exacerbated by movement, sitting or on defecation.
- Anal fistulas can occur in 60% of patients with perianal abscesses. There is no way to prevent a fistula from occurring. Thorough treatment of the perianal abscess by draining out the pus is the only way to deal with the situation.
- Treatment is not possible with medicines alone.
TREATMENT WITH SURGERY
- Drainage of a perianal abscess is done through a small incision over the abscess.
- Pus is collected and sent for culture.
- The wound is packed with gauze.
- The wound is not closed with stitches.
INSTRUCTIONS AFTER SURGERY
- You are sent home on the same or next day with gauze packed in the wound.
- You can take a bath on the next day after surgery.
- Daily dressings are done to allow the wound to heal from within.
- You are advised to take a Sitz bath, that is, sit in a tub of warm water to which potassium permanganate is added for keeping the wound clean and also for a soothing effect.
- Pain killers and laxatives are prescribed to relieve pain and prevent constipation.
- Wound evaluation is done after 2-3 weeks.