By Dr. Girish N. Thorat, Gastroenterology
The human body is an intricate mechanism that functions amazingly. And when there is any trouble it does not fail to show signs of trouble, and all we need to do is, to notice it and solve our problems. This is applicable to all types of health issue, including a perianal abscess.
What is perianal abscess?
The extremely painful condition of anal abscess occurs when one cavity in the anus starts getting filled up with pus. Very often it appears as a painful swellingsimilar to boil just near the anus. Usually, it appears red in color as well as slightly warm to touch. If the location of the anal abscesses is in the deeper tissue, then it might be less visible and it occurs in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
The worst part is that in certain cases, anal abscesses might lead to more painful anal fistulas. Generally, fistulas occur only if the abscesses fail to heal and break open on the skin’s surface. Therefore, it is important that the abscess heals properly or else it may lead to intolerable pain and may even require surgery.
The immediately noticeable and probably the most common anal abscess symptom is constant and throbbing pain around the anal area. Swelling accompanies the pain and its rate increases during bowel movements. Various other common signs include bleeding or rectal discharge, constipation, fatigue, etc. Besides swelling or tenderness, the affected individual might also suffer from skin irritation all around the anus.
Patients with deeper abscess might also show symptoms such as chills, fever, malaise, etc. Various reports state that certain people also feel a lump or nodule at their anus’s rim. Facing difficulty while urinating might also be experienced by some people affected by perianal abscess.
What to do if you suspect a perianal abscess?
One must immediately seek medical if they experience any of the above-mentioned signs or symptoms. Clinical evaluation along with digital rectal exam is sufficient for the proper diagnosis. But, in some cases, patients might need other tests to screen for rectal cancer, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease and sexually transmitted infections. Your physician might also suggest for a CT scan, an MRI or an ultrasound.
Just after the diagnosis, a prompt surgical drainage would be carried out by the doctor before the abscess erupts. Deeper or larger abscess might require hospitalization as well as an anesthesiologist’s assistance. In most cases, patients are prescribed certain medications for pain relief just after the procedure. Antibiotics are mainly given to those people who have comparatively weaker immunity or suffer from diabetes.