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Alternative namesAnal abscess; Rectal abscess; Abscess - anorectal
DefinitionAn anorectal abscess is a collection of pus in the anal or rectal region.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Infection of an anal fissure (cleft or slit), sexually transmitted infections, and blocked anal glands are common causes of anorectal abscesses . Abscesses may occur in an area that is easily accessible for drainage, or higher in the rectum. Deep rectal abscesses may be caused by intestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease or diverticulitis .
High risk groups include diabetics, immunocompromised patients, people who engage in receptive anal sex, and patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
Signs and tests
Treatment involves prompt drainage of the abscess. Depending on the location of the abscess , the procedure may take place in an outpatient setting. If the abscess is very deep, surgery with appropriate anesthesia may be indicated.
The probable outcome is good if the abscess is treated promptly. Infants and toddlers usually recover very quickly.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if rectal discharge or other symptoms of anorectal abscess develop.
In adults and adolescents, prompt treatment or prevention of sexually transmitted diseases may prevent this cause of anorectal abscesses . Use condoms for anal intercourse to prevent such infections.
Update Date: 11/19/2002Hebe Molmenti, M.D., Ph.D., Private Practice specializing in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT