Small glands just inside the anus are part of normal anatomy. If the glands in the anus become clogged, this may result in an infection. When the infection is serious, this often leads to an abscess. Bacteria, faeces or foreign matter can also clog the anal glands and cause an abscess to form. Crohn’s disease, trauma and radiation can increase the risk of infections and fistulas.
A patient with an abscess may have pain, redness or swelling in the area around the anal area or canal. Patients with fistulas have similar symptoms, as well as drainage from an opening near the anus. A fistula is suspected if these symptoms tend to keep coming back in the same area every few weeks.
Most anal abscesses or fistulas are diagnosed and managed based on clinical findings. Imaging studies like Endo Anal Ultrasonography or MRI can help in the diagnosis and management of deeper abscesses and may be used to visualize the fistula tunnel.
The treatment of an abscess is surgical drainage under most circumstances. Colorectal surgeons at Treat Piles Clinic are experts in this area. For most patients, an abscess can be drained surgically through a simple procedure. An incision is made in the skin near the anus to drain the infection.
Surgery is nearly always needed to treat an anal fistula. Antibiotics alone are not effective in treating abscesses or fistula. Antibiotics may be needed, in addition to surgery. We have a large series of patients diagnosed as fistula in ano and have been successfully treated by using Laser ablation of the tract on a daycare basis. We also have Fixcison device by which the complete tract is cored out and can be sent for histopathological evaluation to rule out inflammatory bowel disease or extra pulmonary tuberculosis.
Unfortunately, despite proper treatment and complete healing, an abscess or a fistula are known to recur [can come back]. If an abscess comes back, it suggests that perhaps there is a fistula that needs to be treated. If a fistula comes back, additional surgery will likely be required to treat the problem.