Anorectal Abscess and Fistula

Any patient who feels unwell and reports feeling hot and cold along with severe pain in the back passage or anal area may have an anal abscess or fistula.

An anal abscess is an acute infection which forms in the small glands just inside the sphincter muscles at the anus. This can burst naturally or be drained surgically. After drainage a tunnel may persist (fistula) which communicates with the back passage or anal area and the inside of the back passage. Abscesses can then recur.

Along with acute anorectal abscesses both high (complex) and low anorectal fistulas are treated at the Institute. Whilst the latter are usually treated on a day-case basis, complex fistulas often require at least one overnight period of observation. Loose and cutting setons (sutures placed through the fistula) are widely used by the Institute in the management of anorectal fistulas, along with endoanal advancement flaps where clinically indicated.