Anorectal Abscess and Fistula

Anorectal abscess and fistula are two conditions that represent the acute and chronic phases of the same process. An anorectal abscess is a collection of pus in and around the anus and rectum. It is usually caused by an infection of the anal glands.

It presents with increasing anal pain and may be accompanied by fever or malaise. The area around the anus might become red and may be swollen. There may be a discharge of pus either from the anus or the area of infection. The abscess either bursts spontaneously or, as is the usual case, surgically drained.

In about half the cases the abscess, after drainage, will go on to form a fistula. A fistula is a small tunnel that exists between the site of discharge of pus and the inside of the anal canal. Symptomatic fistulae will need to be treated surgically.

 

Read more about anorectal abscess and fistula at the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons Website.