The glands in your anal area become infected and blocked causing pain, difficulty in moving your bowel and fever. Left untreated an abscess can become an anal fistula.


What are the symptoms of anal abscess?

Symptoms of an anal abscess can include:

  • Pain and swelling in your anal area
  • Abnormal drainage near your anal area
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

How is an anal abscess treated?

If your anal abscess is only superficial (near the surface of the skin) your consultant may be able to treat you as a day case under local anaesthetic. Deep abscesses may need to be treated in hospital using spinal or general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will surgically open and drain the abscess relieving the pressure.

If you are prone to infection or have decreased immunity (such as diabetes) you may need to stay in hospital. Be sure and discuss your particular medication situation with your surgeon. If you are in any pain please ask our healthcare team for help.

Going home after anal abscess surgery

Your abscess area will probably be left open to allow it to drain and heal. Soaking the area (sitz baths) 3 - 4 times per day or after any bowel movement may be recommended.

You may need to wear a pad or mini-pad to prevent any drainage from soiling your clothing. If you are given antibiotics be sure and take the whole course of medication as instructed. Use of stool softeners or fibre laxatives will also decrease your any discomfort. Bowel movements will not affect your healing.

Take over the counter pain relief such as Paracetamol.  

Most people are pleased with the results of their anal abscess treatment. As with any procedure there could be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Recurrence of abscess

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