Anorectal abscess

An anorectal abscess is a pocket of pus in the tissue near the end of the rectum (anus). Most abscesses are caused by a blocked anal gland that develops an infection.

Other possible causes of an anorectal abscess include:

  • Infection in an anal fissure.
  • Complications of diseases that affect the colon, such as Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or diverticulitis.
  • Sexually transmitted infections.

Symptoms of an anorectal abscess include:

  • A painful swelling (mass) around the anus.
  • Drainage of pus from the anus.
  • Fever.
  • Pain in or around the anus.
  • Pain when passing stool.

A person should see a doctor if an anorectal abscess is suspected. Treatment is needed to prevent worsening of the infection and serious illness.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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