Anal abscess and fistula are conditions that we commonly see at CRSSNY. An abscess is an infection of the anal glands, causing them to become clogged. A fistula is the path that the infection will take from the inside the anus to the outside. These conditions need to be treated by a specialist.
So a very common problem we see here at CRSSNY are what's called perianal abscesses and fistulas. An abscess is an infection that develops where glands inside the anus which occur naturally get clogged. And that gland can develop an infection, an infection can subsequently spread. So an abscess is essentially caused by the fistula, the fistula's the big path that the infection took from inside the anus outside.
So when one has an abscess it should be treated with drainage, it is a mistake in general to treat these with antibiotics and that's something that we do see a lot unfortunately. The patients go to their physicians and they're treated with antibiotics. So that's something that should be avoided. These abscesses should be drained. An abscess will develop, you'll feel some pain and swelling, it's usually quite uncomfortable. If you do develop these symptoms it should be evaluated and if you do have an abscess usually it should be taken care of right then and there. A relatively quick procedure done in the office, with minimal discomfort and we can drain the abscess effectively.
Once the abscess is drained we then wait and see if a fistula will develop and if a fistula develops you may require further surgical procedures. Those procedures can include the placement of drains, the administration of some glues, and the application of a plug. So there are various types of procedures that can be done to cure the fistula.
With that said it's very important you see colon rectal surgeons when you're dealing with these types of problems. The goal here is to fix the fistula without damaging the nearby sphincters. The sphincters are what's responsible for one maintaining their control and we don't want to damage the sphincters while we're trying to fix the fistula. Seeing a specialist like here at CRSSNY is critical to be sure that your fistula is repaired without damaging the sphincters.