Get a second opinion

Check insurance coverage

Get a cost estimate

EMI Calculator


An abscess is a common medical condition characterized by pus collection within a confined area. Pus is an inflammatory fluid consisting of white blood cells (WBCs), microorganisms, and dead tissue, which is formed when your body's natural immune system fights off any infection. 

An abscess near your anus or rectum is known as a perianal abscess, also called an anal or rectal abscess. It is a painful lump or a boil that most often occurs due to clogging of the anal glands; however, there could be other possible reasons for its formation.

This article will brief you about the perianal abscess, its causes, symptoms, and management. So read on!

What is Perianal Abscess?

Perianal abscess is a painful, pus-filled boil or lump found near your anus (an opening in the body where the gastrointestinal tract ends and waste exits the body), rectum (a chamber that begins at the end of the large intestine and ends at the anus), or perineal area (the space between your anus and genitals). The anus consists of several mucus-secreting glands, and when one of these glands gets blocked or clogged, it can lead to infection and the formation of an abscess.

What Causes Perianal Abscess?

A perianal abscess is most often caused due to any infection in the body in conditions like:

  • Blocked anal glands
  • An anal fissure (a tear or injury in the anal canal)
  • Sexually transmitted infections (Gonorrhea, Herpes, Chlamydia, etc.)

However, there could be several risk factors that increase your probability of developing a perianal abscess:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) (bacterial infection in the female genital tract caused by Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Mycoplasma)
  • Diverticulitis (infection or inflammation of the pouches that can form in your intestines).
  • Diabetes (a debilitating disease characterized by increased blood sugar levels)
  • Prolonged use of steroids
  • A compromised immune system as seen in AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
  • Chronic (long-lasting) smoking habit
  • Persistent constipation or diarrhea
  • Trauma to the anus and the perianal area, especially during anal sex

Symptoms of Perianal Abscess

The most common and immediate symptom of a perianal abscess is constant throbbing pain and swelling in the anal area. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Extreme pain that can worsen while sitting down, coughing, or during bowel movements
  • A prominent boil or lump in the anal area that is red, tender, and swollen
  • Pus discharge from the anus if the abscess bursts
  • Painful bowel movements due to constipation
  • Lower abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Irritation of the tissues surrounding your anus
  • Difficulty in urination
  • Other signs of infection include high-grade fever (> 104 ?), chills, body aches, and weakness.

How is Perianal Abscess Diagnosed?

A perianal abscess can be easily diagnosed through a physical examination of the lump to check for pain, redness, and swelling in the anal area. 

  • For abscesses not visible under the skin or without visible signs, your surgeon will conduct a test using a diagnostic tool known as a "proctoscope." This is a tube-like instrument to look inside the anal canal and lower rectum (proctosigmoidoscopy).
  • For deep-seated abscesses, you may require an ultrasound, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or CT (Computed Tomography) scan to get a better look for evaluation.

Additional tests may also be required:

  • Blood tests
  • Stool tests
  • Colonoscopy-A colonoscopy is performed as an outpatient procedure (no hospitalization required) where a flexible scope with a light source will be used to examine your colon and large intestine.

How is Perianal Abscess Treated?

Prompt treatment of a perianal abscess is important since it does not go away on its own. There are two types of treatments:

Incision and Drainage (I and D)

  • It is a simple outpatient procedure (does not require hospitalization) done under local or general anesthesia by a surgeon to cut open the abscess and drain the infected pus.
  • This procedure usually takes 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the surgeon's expertise.
  • The abscess will be left open without stitches to drain further and heal completely.
  • You may require surgery with anesthesia for large abscesses, and a catheter (tube-like drain) may be inserted for further drainage. 

Fistula treatment

  • Fistula (an abnormal connection between two body parts or organs) is a common complication of a perianal abscess seen as a tunnel connecting the anal gland and the skin surface. 
  • Almost half the patients with an anal abscess will eventually develop a fistula.
  • Fistula treatment is an outpatient procedure where the internal and external openings are surgically joined.
  • It is important to surgically treat a fistula to prevent the recurrence of a perianal abscess.

Post-op Care


  • Your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection post-drainage. This is also helpful if you have a weakened immune system. Your surgeon will prescribe painkillers to reduce pain and soreness.

Laxatives or fiber supplements

  • Laxatives will be prescribed to prevent constipation because straining during painful bowel movements may delay healing.
  • You will be advised to consume a fiber-rich diet like fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Sitz bath 

  • Your surgeon will instruct you about sitz baths to promote healing. 
  • A Sitz bath is a method of submerging your anus and genitals region in warm water. 
  • This also helps soothe pain and reduces swelling.

Follow-up appointments

  • You must attend all the follow-up appointments to prevent abscess recurrence or fistula formation.

Healing of a perianal abscess usually takes around 3 to 4 weeks.

Complications of Perianal Abscess

Treatment for perianal abscesses is usually successful with proper post-op care and follow-ups. However, if complications occur, they include:

  • Recurrence of abscess- an abscess may again be formed at the same place.
  • Anal fistula- a small tunnel or passage which connects an infected anal gland to an opening on the skin surrounding the anus.
  • Fournier's gangrene- It is a serious, life-threatening infection of the perineum caused by bacteria.
  • Infection- around the anal area, with symptoms like fever, chills, and body aches.
  • Sepsis- a life-threatening complication of untreated infection may develop
  • Delayed healing- can occur, especially if you have weakened immunity.

How to Prevent Perianal Abscess?

Usually, there are not many preventive measures for perianal abscess, but you may reduce your chances of recurrence by

  • Managing those medical conditions like diabetes, etc. that can put you at an increased risk.
  • Maintaining good anal and genital hygiene.
  • Using condoms and other barrier methods during anal sex prevents STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and the spread of other bacterial infections.
  • Avoiding prolonged use of steroids.
  • Limiting or quitting smoking.

Why Choose Medfin?

Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is absolutely normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor, and the latest procedure at the lowest cost. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin!

Frequently Asked Questions

Medfin offers the latest surgical procedures to ensure that you recover as fast as possible in the least painful way possible.

After the initial incision and drainage procedure, your wound may continue to drain for several days until the infection subsides gradually. It is important to leave the wound open and not close it with stitches. If your clothes are soiled by drainage, use sterile surgical gauze or a sanitary pad.

Abscess drainage is the most effective treatment of a perianal abscess. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under anesthesia. Usually, abscess drainage by an experienced surgeon will take not more than 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and extent of the perianal abscess. The entire abscess is drained to remove the pus and left open for further healing.

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that can be soft and tender to the touch. While hemorrhoids are hard lumps that can cause bleeding and tend to form inside the anal cavity or rectum. An abscess needs treatment, whereas hemorrhoids are swollen veins that, at times, may go away with medication. Abscess is a more serious medical condition than hemorrhoids, which can lead to complications if left untreated.

It is advisable to avoid the following foods after perianal drainage to promote healing:

  • High-fat dairy products
  • Fast foods 
  • Spicy foods
  • Foods items made up of all-purpose flour (Maida)
  • Fried foods with preservatives
  • Packaged and salty foods
  • Alcohol and caffeinated drinks
  • Red meat

View All

The power of Medfin in Patient’s words


Got to know about them from my friend. They got an appointment for only 299. Once the doctor confirmed that I needed the surgery they got me a fixed cost which included ALL the costs. No extra amounts were charged. Thank you Medfin

Suresh Menon
Recommended our service

After my consultation with the doctor, MEDFIN representative got me a fixed package cost that included my mothers initial tests, surgery cost. They also gave me stockings free for Rs. 3000 post the surgery. They kept up their promise they made

Radhika Iyer
Recommended our service

Thank you Medfin. They ensured the whole process from selecting a very experienced doctor to offering the latest procedure at a very reasonable price. They also arranged a follow up post my surgery with the doctor to ensure my recovery was on track. Thank you for being there throughout

Deepa Shree
Recommended our service

Quality healthcare within your reach

Get access to top doctors in your city at just ₹299

Available today

Dr. Harsh K Aggarwalstar-users

General Surgeon

MBBS, MS General Surgeon
22+ years Online Consultation

Why choose Medfin

dots why_medfin

Booking completed

05:30 PM, Wed
  • 01

    Latest procedures

    Suspendisse dapibus id varius velit morbi ipsum. Vitae interdum

  • 02

    Experts doctors

    Suspendisse dapibus id varius velit morbi ipsum. Vitae interdum

  • 03

    Savings upto 50%

    Suspendisse dapibus id varius velit morbi ipsum. Vitae interdum

  • 04

    Advanced technology

    Suspendisse dapibus id varius velit morbi ipsum. Vitae interdum


Think Surgery, Think Medfin.

Medfin has taken the latest medical technologies to ensure consistent quality of advanced surgical care in 45+ cities of India including:

Request a call back

Know more about latest day-care surgeries in Chandigarh from a Medfin Expert

Book an appointment