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What is an anal abscess?

An anal abscess can be very painful and can affect the quality of your life. Dr. Howard Kaufman and his team of licensed Pasadena colorectal surgeons have immense experience treating anal abscesses. They can help you alleviate your pain with timely care.

An abscess refers to pus that is collected in the tissues within the body. An anal abscess is an abscess that occurs in or near the anal region. These pus-filled formations are highly painful and can cause intense discomfort to the patient.

Anal abscesses develop when the anal glands – small sac-shaped glands located between the internal and external sphincters – get blocked by foreign matter or are infected by bacteria. These abscesses can either develop near the surface of the anus or deep within the rectum. Immediate treatment can prevent the abscess from worsening and becoming a fistula, which is a serious colorectal condition.

Signs of an
anal abscess

You may have an anal abscess if you notice the following signs:

  • A pus-filled boil near the surface of the anus.
  • Redness, inflammation, and skin irritation in the skin around the anus.
  • Extreme pulsating pain in the anal region.
  • Severe constipation.
  • Painful and difficult bowel movements.
  • Pus discharge or foul-smelling liquid discharge.

If you notice the above symptoms, please get in touch with Dr. Kaufman and our team at Huntington Colorectal Surgeons today.

Diagnosis of
anal abscess

Our licensed colorectal surgeons will conduct a comprehensive medical evaluation to identify the cause of your anal abscess. Typically, anal abscesses are caused by:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Fecal blockage of the anal glands
  • Sexually transmitted infections

If necessary, we may ask you to undergo a CT or MRI scan so we can get a complete visualization of the treatment site. We identify the location, size, and severity of the abscess and then design a customized treatment plan specifically for you.

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Treating an anal abscess

Anal abscesses can be treated using different treatment regimes. Some abscesses may be treated with antibiotics, but many require surgical drainage. Dr. Kaufman and his colleagues, Dr. Gabriel Akopian and Dr. Juliane Golan, can help decide what treatment is best for you. We can often perform drainage in our office using local anesthesia to numb any pain or discomfort.

When the abscess is more complex our surgeons may recommend performing drainage in the operating room. Drainage consists of making a small incision over the abscess.

Dr. Kaufman and his team will address any concerns or questions you may have before and after the procedure.

Recovering from an anal abscess

Your anal region may feel sore and tender after the surgery. However, these symptoms will subside after a day or two. You can return to work within a few days.

We will see you for a post-operative check-up a week or two after the treatment, to see how you’re healing. Typically, most patients experience complete relief from anal abscesses within 2 to 3 weeks after the drainage.

If you have any questions or would like to consult our doctors, contact our Huntington Colorectal Surgeons in Pasadena, California, today.


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