- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Perianal/Perirectal or Pilonidal Abscess
What is a Perianal, Perirectal or Pilondial Abscess?
A perianal/perirectal or pilonidal abscess is a very painful infection that in many cases needs to be attended to by a surgeon immediately. Many times a person will think that they have hemorrhoids and treat themselves with over the counter medication. It is not until they find that this medication is not helping the pain or shrinking the hemorrhoids that they consult a doctor.
Pilonidal cyst, pilonidal abscess, pilonidal sinus or sacrococcygeal fistula
How The Pilonidal Abscess Starts
Abscesses can start with a simple ingrown hair follicle that becomes infected. Apparently these are more common in young men than in women but anyone at any age can get these.
Symptoms of Pilonidal Abscess
- Very painful to have a bowl movement
- Painful to sit
- Constant throbbing
- May be accompanied by fever
- Feels as if you have a pimple or a bump within the mid-line of the buttock cleft
Diagnosis for a Pilonidal Abscess
A doctor or surgeon upon examination will be able to tell if there is a perirectal, perianal or pilonidal abscess present.
Treatment for a Perianal, Perirectal or Pilonidal Abscess
If this is caught right away it can be treated with antibiotics, but in most cases people do not realize what it is.
If not caught right away and the abscess gets large, a local anesthetic will be administered before the abscess is surgically opened and drained. It will then be packed with gauze and an antibiotic solution. No stitches can be used, as this type of a wound has to heal from the inside out. More than likely bleeding will continue while the wound is healing. Bleeding in this case is a good thing as if there is any infection left from the abscess it will come out with the blood. Sitz baths are required before the packing is changed daily. In some cases the patient will need to be on an antibiotic and most definitely a pain medication.
Depending on how deep the abscess is and how deep the surgeon has to cut to drain the abscess will depend on the recovery time of the patient. It can be anywhere from two to four weeks or in some cases up to eight weeks.
This type of an abscess can return. Surgeons cannot always get to the root of the hair follicle and sometimes this abscess will return. After having one though the patient will be aware of what it feels like and hopefully catch it early enough so that a second surgery is not required.