What Are Some Common Treatments for a Perirectal Abscess?


Quick Answer

Draining of the abscess via incision is the most common treatment for a perirectal, or perianal, abscess, according to WebMD. A large or deep perirectal abscess may require the help of an anesthesiologist and a stay in the hospital. Local anesthetic is used in a doctor's office to treat a superficial abscess.

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Antibiotics are a poor alternative to surgical drainage when treating a perirectal abscess, notes the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Healing time and recurrence potential are not impacted by the use of antibiotics in patients with uncomplicated abscesses. However, patients with altered or compromised immune systems may require antibiotics, as may those with extensive cellulitis.

Post-surgery complications may include infection, scarring, recurrence of the abscess or development of an anal fissure, advises WebMD. Some patients may develop an anal fistula four to six weeks after the procedure, or even after several months or years. Like perirectal surgery, fistula surgery is performed in a doctor's office or hospital.

A perirectal abscess typically starts as a result of bacteria entering through a tear in the anus or rectum lining, explains the University of Connecticut Health Center. The most common area to develop a perirectal abscess is between the external and internal sphincters. Common symptoms of a perirectal abscess include fever accompanied by pain, swelling, redness and loss of function in the perirectal area.

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