Anal Abscess in North Houston and West Houston, TX

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About Anal Abscess

At Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery, our skilled team regularly sees patients with a wide range of concerns. Of these, one of the most painful can be an anal abscess. An anal abscess is characterized by the presence of a pus-filled cavity that can be found near the anus. Most abscesses are visible, but some may not be as easily viewable, depending on where they're located in the anorectal region. In the majority of cases, this abscess forms as a result of an infection in the anal glands, but some may be caused by a collection of bacteria, fecal matter, or foreign material that creates a blockage in the anal glands. When you begin to notice the signs of an anal abscess or notice a boil-like appearance around the area, it's important to receive treatment immediately. If left untreated, an anal abscess will often cause a fistula to develop. At our North Houston and West Houston, TX offices, our skilled team of credentialed colorectal surgeons will assess your unique condition, eliminate your anal abscess, and relieve your pain. If you've been struggling with anal pain due to an abscess, contact a member of our team today to schedule your consultation.

Signs and Symptoms

There are many telltale signs that can indicate the presence of an abscess, the most notable of which is the development of a boil-like blemish near the anus. Anal abscesses can be red in color and warm to the touch, and some may be more visible, depending on where they're located along the anorectal region. Some other symptoms you may experience are significant pain in the affected area, skin irritation such as swelling and redness, a discharge of pus, constipation, or other bowel movement-related conditions. Men and women sometimes report fever or chills, as well as rectal bleeding and painful or difficult urination. Some risk factors that may make certain patients more prone to developing these painful blemishes are those with a history of colitis or ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and diabetes. Many of the side effects of an anal abscess can enormously affect your quality of life so you should seek necessary care from a colon and rectal specialist as soon as you can.

What to Expect

Since anal abscesses take on a physical, external appearance, they can usually be diagnosed with a physical examination. At the start of your appointment, one of our surgeons will meet with you and ask you detailed questions about your medical history before we perform a physical exam. Certain medical conditions may predispose you to develop anal abscesses more often, such as STDs, diabetes, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. Afterward, we will evaluate the area to determine the presence of an anal abscess. We may then administer an ultrasound or MRI scan to determine if a fistula tunnel is being formed. Depending on your medical history or the results of your physical, we may run tests for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), diverticular disease, rectal cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease. 

Treatment Techniques

In most cases, an anal abscess is treated by making a surgical incision into the blemish and draining the pus. Smaller abscesses can be removed in our North Houston or West Houston, TX offices with the patient under local anesthesia while larger areas may need to take place at an accredited surgical facility and employ general anesthesia for sedation. Once the pus has been drained, we will disinfect the area, close it, and apply medical dressings. Any post-operative discomfort can be treated with prescription pain medication. For patients with autoimmune disorders or certain diseases, like diabetes, we may prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection from developing in the treated area.

Following your treatment, a member of our team will provide you with detailed recovery instructions and suggestions. You may be advised to soak the area in warm water several times a day and apply medical gauze to prevent any drainage from damaging your clothes. Roughly 50% of patients will develop a fistula in the abscess area following treatment, which will need to be addressed in the future. You should return to Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery to attend any scheduled follow-up appointments so our experienced specialists can monitor your health, healing, and progress.


An anal abscess is a painful, irritating, and unsightly condition that can be brought on by a range of factors, most notably an infection in the anal glands. If you have noticed a boil-like appearance in the anorectal area, experienced pain or discomfort, pus discharge, fever, or any other signs, it's time to seek treatment. Contact Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery. With several offices located throughout North Houston and West Houston, TX, our skilled team is accessible to many and can address your unique condition.

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