Abscesses in the perianal and perirectal regions are frequent anorectal issues. Most anorectal abscesses develop from an infection that begins in the anal crypt gland and then spreads to the subcutaneous tissue, intersphincteric plane, or even further (ischiorectal space). Anorectal abscesses require immediate surgical drainage after diagnosis. An untreated anorectal abscess can spread to other areas of the body and lead to systemic illness.
What is perirectal abscess?
An infection that leads to the formation of a pus-filled pocket near the anus is referred to as a perirectal abscess. The area can itch and hurt quite a bit. An infected obstructed anal gland is the most common source of abscesses. A rip or fissure in the anus can also cause it. Conditions that impact the colon, such as Crohn’s disease, are also potential triggers for this disorder.
Perirectal abscess Symptoms
Symptoms include persistent, throbbing rectal discomfort that is aggravated by movement or straining. Additional symptoms include fever, constipation, and difficulty urinating. Red, hot, sensitive, and swollen rectal masses are sometimes felt.
Perirectal abscess Causes
Perirectal abscesses are most typically triggered by a bacterial infection from the anal canal into one of the perirectal regions. The infection is most typically caused by a blocked anal crypt gland. These bacteria are typically found in the bowel. Perirectal abscesses can also be caused by inflammatory bowel illnesses like Crohn’s. Sexually transmitted illnesses, impaired immunity, and anal fissures are additional risk factors.
When bacteria infect the rectal space as well as the glands located in the rectum that are responsible for producing mucus, small hollow cavities or holes that fill with pus can develop. The collections of pus-filled cavities that are typically found in this region are known as perirectal abscesses. Bacteria can become trapped in the crypt glands that line the anal canal, leading to the development of perianal abscesses, which are similar but occur closer to the anus.
It is critical to seek medical assistance as soon as possible if a perirectal abscess is detected to prevent the consequences and increased costs that are associated with a delayed diagnosis.
Perirectal abscess Treatment
Surgical incision and drainage are the most typical treatments for perirectal abscesses. Local anesthesia in the office or general anesthesia in the operation room both work well for this treatment. The abscess is drained through an incision the surgeon makes on the skin. A gauze dressing is commonly applied and the skin is left open to recover. If the abscess is connected to an anal fistula, a drain can also be inserted to enable internal healing of the fistula tract. Primary antibiotic therapy is ineffective on its own, however, antibiotics are often provided to assist treat the infection.
Perianal abscess vs Perirectal abscess
Both a perirectal abscess and a perianal abscess are collections of pus around the anus; however, the severity, location, and treatment of these two types of abscesses are distinct from one another. Perianal abscesses are shallower and develop in the upper layers of tissue, whereas perirectal abscesses are deeper and can extend along the rectum into the pelvis. Perianal abscesses are typically visible and can be diagnosed and treated with simple incision and drainage, whereas perirectal abscesses may need intravenous antibiotics, a surgical examination, and sophisticated imaging. Both forms of abscesses are associated with fistulas, which are tube-like connections that are generally found between the rectum or anal canal and the skin.
Perianal and perirectal abscesses present with distinct symptoms. A perianal abscess is a boil-like lump that is located close to the anus, rectum, or perineal area, and it manifests as a superficial, tender mass close to the anus. The anal canal’s crypt glands, which are lined with bacteria, become infected. The lump, which looks like a “pimple,” may drain pus and cure on its own. A perirectal abscess, on the other hand, is a deep infection that travels up the rectum and into the pelvis. Fever, malaise, rectal discharge, redness of the surrounding tissue, lower back discomfort, or a dull soreness in the pelvic area are possible symptoms.