An anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus or rectum. An anal fistula is usually the result of a previous abscess. It is a small tunnel connecting the anal gland from which the abscess arose to the skin of the buttocks outside the anus.
Symptoms of both include constant pain, sometimes accompanied by swelling that is not necessarily related to bowel movements. Other symptoms include irritation of skin around the anus, drainage of pus, fever, and feeling poorly in general.
An abscess is treated by draining the pus from the infected cavity, making an opening in the skin near the anus to relieve the pressure. Often, this can be done in a doctor’s office using a local anesthetic. A large or deep abscess may require hospitalization and use of a different anesthetic method.
Surgery is necessary to cure an anal fistula and should be performed by a specialist in colon and rectal surgery. The procedure usually involves cutting a small portion of the anal sphincter muscle to open the tunnel, joining the external and internal opening, and converting the tunnel into a groove that will then heal from within outward. The surgery usually is performed on an outpatient basis; a short hospital stay may be recommended.
Preparing for Your Outpatient Surgery
If you are returning home following your surgery, please bring:
- Your insurance cards and photo ID
- A list of all medications you are currently taking (including dosage) and any medication you may need to take during your visit
- Insurance referral and authorizations
Please arrive at the office before your scheduled surgery time to prepare for your surgery. You should also follow any instructions about drinking and eating that your surgeon provides. Your surgeon may also ask you to avoid taking certain medicines before your procedure.
You should bring a friend or family member with you to your surgery so they can drive you home and care for you after your procedure.
If you have any other questions about your procedure, please contact your surgeon’s office.
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Improving the future of surgical care. We participate in the latest research and clinical trials, which help determine which surgeries work best for which patients. This research improves patient safety and quality of care while shaping the future of surgical treatment. Our surgeons have helped develop new procedures to treat a wide range of conditions, helping patients experience faster recoveries and fewer surgical risks.
A comprehensive team of surgeons. We provide advanced surgical care for many health problems — from heart conditions to cancer. You’ll receive care from a surgeon who has specialized experience and expertise in your specific condition, ensuring you receive the right care for your needs.
Leaders in robotic surgery treatment. The University of Miami Health System is home to some of the world’s most experienced robotic surgeons. That’s why doctors from across the globe come to our facility to learn from our surgeons. We were the first academic medical center to use the da Vinci Xi robotic surgery system and complete more than 5,000 robotic surgeries — procedures that offer less pain and scarring and a faster recovery.
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