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Perianal Abcess

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection that appears as wart-like growths in the genital and anal area. There are hundreds of different kinds of HPV viruses but not all of them cause this kind of reaction.

What is a Perianal Abcess?

The perianal area is the skin surrounding the anus. This skin can be easily damaged or injured by straining if you suffer from constipation, diarrhea and may be associated with certain diseases.


The word perianal is sometimes confused with the word perineal – which is the area between the anus and the scrotum or labia magna in women.

A perianal abscess is a tender and painful swelling that looks like a boil. The glands inside of the anus produce mucus which occasionally becomes infected. This infection may lead to an abscess.

What is a Fistula?

A fistula differs from an abscess. A fistula is a small tear that forms a tunnel connecting it to the infected area. A fistula frequently causes pain with bowel movements, constipation if you are having large and/or hard stools. Bleeding may also occur with a perianal fistula.

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A fistula most often requires surgical intervention, since they do not usually close on their own. Surgical treatment is may be required to treat the abscess and manage the fistula. If left untreated, there is a chance that cancer may develop in the perianal area.


Perianal abscess with fistula

The procedure to address an abscess with fistula is performed in the hospital but may be done on an outpatient basis.

During the surgery, the abscess is drained.

The anal sphincter muscle undergoes a small cut and the fistula is visualized. Since a fistula is a tunnel, the procedure involves joining the internal opening to the external opening. The path of the tunnel is changed to an internal groove and will be able to heal from the inside out.

Perianal Abscess Surgery

To treat a perianal abscess, an opening in the skin near the abscess is made and the pus drained. If this is done in the physician’s office, local anesthetic can be used. If your abscess is within deep tissue or large, it will be done in a hospital setting.

Perianal Abscess Surgery Treatment

You can expect mild to moderate discomfort the first week after surgery which can be controlled by pain medication. You may be instructed to take frequent, warm sitz baths as well as stool softeners. Healing is not affected by having bowel movements.

Will fistula or abscess come back?

Since the leading cause of perianal abscesses and fistulas is constipation with hard and large bowel movements, keeping your bowels healthy is important in order to avoid a recurrence of perianal problems.

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