Texas Colon & Rectal Specialists (TCRS) is here to provide our patients with leading-edge treatments for anal abscesses, fistulas and fissures.
An anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus located near the opening of the anal canal. Symptoms of an anal abscess include constant pain and swelling. Other possible symptoms include fever, feeling poorly, and drainage of pus. By draining the pus from the infected cavity with an incision, your TCRS doctor can effectively treat this abscess. Often, we conduct the treatment in our office using a local anesthetic. A large or deep abscess might need to be drained in the operating room. Sometimes a small catheter remains in the incision for several days to assure adequate drainage. Antibiotics alone are not an alternative to draining the pus.
An anal fistula will form in about 50 percent of all abscess cases. An anal fistula is usually the result of a previous abscess and is a persistent abnormal passage or tunnel between the interior of the anal canal or rectum and the skin surface where the abscess drained. If the outside opening of the tunnel heals, recurrent abscesses develop. TCRS specialists recommend surgery to cure an anal fistula. While some anal fistulas are simple to treat, others require special attention to limit any damage to the sphincter muscles. A complicated fistula may require repair using a flap of tissue or the use of a newer product called Surgsis® AFP™ Anal Fistula Plug.
An anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the skin lining the anus, which can cause pain and/or bleeding. The pain typically is sharp and is worse with bowel movements. The most common cause is a hard, dry bowel movement. Other causes of an anal fissure include diarrhea and inflammation of the anorectal area. Anal fissures may be acute (recent onset) or chronic (present for a long time or recurring frequently). Spasm of the anal sphincter muscles contributes to the pain and hinders healing. More than 90% of acute anal fissures managed with non-operative treatments will heal without surgery. Chronic fissures may require your TCRS surgeon to perform surgery where a small portion of the sphincter muscle is cut to relieve the spasm and allow healing. In some cases, TCRS specialists will offer patients Botox injections to aid in healing.