An anal abscess is an infection that arises from small glands inside the anus. An anal fistula is a medical term for a tract (like a tube) that develops as a result of the infection, which usually starts in the anal gland. Not every abscess becomes a fistula.
The anal fistula forms a tunnel around or through the sphincter muscles and connects the inside of the anus to the skin outside the anus as it tunnels its way to the outside world. The external opening of the tunnel at the skin may appear as a red, inflamed area that may ooze and is easily detected. An internal opening in the anus is more complicated and may require imaging or other testing. An anal abscess and anal fistula generally present as pain around your rectum, and sometimes fevers or difficulty urinating.
Anal pain and rectal bleeding can be frightening or uncomfortable and sometimes severe. The caring physicians at the Center for Colon & Rectal Health are available to answer all of your questions. At your initial visit, your CCRH physician may make recommendations to treat the infection with hot water soaks (sitz baths), antibiotics, and stool softeners. After the full prescription of antibiotics is completed and if the anal fistula closes, we simply watch to see if it comes back.
If the tunnel persists, we may perform specialized testing to find the internal fistula opening. CCRH physicians use the latest technology to detect the complete path of more complicated internal fistulas. When testing has been completed, your CCRH double board certified surgeon may recommend a surgical treatment specific to your anal abscess and fistula as the optimum solution to relieve you of your symptoms, discomfort and pain. We take into account factors that may affect continence (the ability to hold your bowels) before making any recommendations.
The caring medical staff and physicians at the Center for Colon & Rectal Health are available to answer all of your questions. Make a list of pain symptoms and questions before you schedule your appointment at CCRH, and we will take the time to make sure you understand your treatment options. An online appointment request form is available on each page of this website for your convenience.
Our goal is to provide you with a safe and comfortable environment. Every patient is different. We strive to offer you the most accurate and effective treatment options.
Please contact Bucks County’s premier colorectal group to schedule an appointment and to learn more.
St. Mary Medical Center
St. Clare Medical Building, Suite 130
1203 Langhorne-Newtown Road
Langhorne, PA 19047