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Do you know?

The most common symptom of an abscess or fistula is constant, throbbing pain that worsens when sitting down. An abscess may lead to pain during bowel movements, which can also lead to secondary constipation. Anal abscesses typically cause visible boil-like swelling and irritation to the skin around the anus. Some abscesses are warm to the touch and cause fever.

The vast majority of abscesses are caused by blockages and infections within the anal glands. However, other conditions may also lead to abscess, such as an infected anal fissure or certain sexually transmitted infections. Anyone can develop abscess, though certain GI health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease or AIDS, can increase a person’s risk.

The standard treatment for abscesses is surgical drainage of the pus inside of them. This procedure is quick and usually successful. If a fistula is present at the time of drainage, a surgeon may choose to address it at the same time through one of several treatment options. Many people do not develop fistulas until several weeks or even years after an abscess has been drained.