An anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus. Anal Fistula is an abnormal passage (communication) between the interior of the anal canal or rectum and the skin surface. Symptoms are usually a purulent discharge and drainage of pus and/or stool near the anus, which can irritate the outer tissues causing itching and discomfort.
An anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus (the opening of the anal canal) or rectum (the portion of large intestine just proximal to the anal canal). This can results from a blockage of the anal glands located just inside the anus.
An abscess produces pain and swelling near the anal opening. Fever may also be present. Treatment consists of surgically draining pus from the infected cavity and making an opening (incision) in the skin near the anus to relieve pressure. Sometimes a small catheter is left in the incision for several days to assure adequate drainage. In the majority of individuals, a fistula will form after the abscess has been drained.
Anal Fistula is an abnormal passage (communication) between the interior of the anal canal or rectum and the skin surface. Rarer forms may communicate with the vagina or other pelvic structures, including the bowel.
Most fistulas begin as anorectal abscesses. When the abscess opens spontaneously (or has been opened surgically), a fistula may occur. Other causes of fistulas include tuberculosis, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease. Fistulas may occur singly or in multiples.
Symptoms are usually a purulent discharge and drainage of pus and/or stool near the anus, which can irritate the outer tissues causing itching and discomfort. Pain occurs when fistulas become blocked and abscesses recur. Flatus (gas) may also escape from the fistulous tract. A fistula-in-ano is diagnosed when a probe has been passed between the opening on the skin’s surface and the interior opening.
Symptoms of both ailments include constant pain, sometimes accompanied by swelling, that is not necessarily related to bowel movements. Other symptoms include irritation of skin around the anus, drainage of pus (which often relieves the pain), fever, and feeling poorly in general.
A fistula develops in about 50 percent of all abscess cases and there is really no way to predict if this will occur.