Causes of rectal abscess
A perirectal abscess, also known as a rectal, anal or anorectal abscess, is caused by a bacterial infection. As the body attempts to combat the bacteria, white corpuscles and body fluids collect, forming a pus. Rectal abscesses can form near the anal opening, or exist much higher up in the rectum.
Risk factors for rectal abscess
Some people are at greater risk of developing a rectal abscess, including:
- People with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease
- People who have regular anal sex
- People with diabetes
- People who have weakened immune systems, including people with HIV, those on certain types of medications, the elderly and the very young. Risk is also greater following a bone marrow transplant,
Signs and symptoms of rectal abscess
Signs and symptoms include;
- Painful hard swelling in the anus
- Red swelling
- Pus discharging from the swelling
- Temperature and fever
- Pain with bowel movements
Treatments for rectal abscess
- Surgical drainage. This procedure may require a general anesthetic if the abscess is located high up in the rectum.
- Medication for pain relief
- Warm baths to assist pain relief, and aid drainage of rectal abscess that are lower down in the anal canal.
Definition of terms of anorectal and perirectal abscesses
Anorectal abscess - an abscess in the anal or rectal area.
Perianal abscess - From the Greek peri- around, and the Latin anus- lower opening of alimentary canal. Therefore a perianal abscess is an abscess in the anal area.