This year-old man presented with a very painful infection. There was a large abscess which was easily palpable with surrounding cellulitis. It clearly needed incision so he was admitted for this to be done under general anaesthetic. There was no obvious underlying cause, such as inflammatory bowel disease or diabetes.
An anal, or rectal, abscess occurs when a cavity in the anus becomes filled with pus. It causes extreme pain, fatigue , rectal discharge, and fever. In some cases, anal abscesses can result in painful anal fistulas. A blocked anal gland, a sexually transmitted infection STI , or an infected anal fissure can cause anal abscesses. Some other risk factors include:. Toddlers or children that have a history of anal fissures tears in the anal sphincter are also at a higher risk for developing anal abscesses later on. Such anal fissures might occur in children who have a history of constipation.
It arises as a complication of paraproctitis. Ischiorectal, inter- and intrasphincteric abscesses have been described. Pain in the perianal area is the most common symptom of an anorectal abscess.
An anorectal abscess also referred to as an anal abscess, rectal abscess, perianal abscess, or perirectal abscess depending on its location is a pus-filled cavity that forms within the furrows of the anal canal called the anal sinuses. Abscesses can form near or within the anus or develop much higher up in the rectum itself. While an abscess can form spontaneously for no apparent reason, it is commonly associated with gastrointestinal disease, bowel irregularities, immune suppression, and even certain medications.