Rectal abscess (collection of pus)

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Rectal abscess (collection of pus) (Disease)


Signs and symptoms of rectal abscess include: painful hard swelling in the anus, red swelling, pus discharging from the swelling, temperature and fever, pain with bowel movements.

Causes and Risk factors

Rectal abscess is caused by a bacterial infection. As the body attempts to combat the infection bacteria, white corpuscles and body fluids collect. This forms pus. Rectal abscesses can form near the opening or be much higher up in the rectum.

Some people are more at risk of developing a rectal abscess. They are; people with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohns disease, people who have regular anal sex, people with diabetes, people who have weakened immune systems. This includes people with HIV, people on certain types of medications, following bone marrow transplant, the elderly and the very young.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Sometimes, fistula surgery can be performed at the same time as abscess surgery. However, fistulas often develop four to six weeks after an abscess is drained. Sometimes a fistula may not occur until months or even years later. So fistula surgery is usually a separate procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis or with a short hospital stay.

After abscess or fistula surgery, discomfort is usually mild and can be controlled with pain medications. People can expect to lose only a minimal amount of time from work or school.

People are usually advised to soak the affected area in a warm water (sitz) bath three or four times per day. Stool softeners may be recommended to ease the discomfort of bowel movements. Some people may be advised to wear a gauze pad or mini-pad to prevent the drainage from soiling their clothes. ...

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