Perianal abscess

" At the Clinica, after a diagnosis of perianal abscess, surgical treatment is indicated in most cases without delay to prevent the progression of the disease".


What is an anal abscess?

The anal abscess is an accumulation of purulent material in the perianal area.

The evolution of this abscess through the formation of a communication between the anal canal and the perianal skin, through which pus would emerge, is known as anal fistula and would represent a further step in the evolution of this process.

What are the symptoms of a perianal abscess?

The presence of a hot, reddish inflammatory-looking tumor on the anus margin is practically diagnostic of this pathology.

The most common symptoms of perianal abscesses are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Dull pain
  • Purulent material

In the acute phase, that is, in the formation of the abscess, it is typical the presence of a pain usually of deaf and continuous characteristics in the perianal zone, accompanied by fever, chills, especially in the most evolved phase.

When the abscess has evolved, an acute phase more or less symptomatic and gives rise to the formation of a fistula, the presence of a hole in the anal margin through which purulent material emerges is typical.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a perianal abscess

What are the causes of the perianal abscess?

Other specific causes of infection should be ruled out (such as inflammatory bowel disease, tuberculosis, foreign bodies, tumors, trauma, chemoradiotherapy treatments, etc.).

Having discarded the previous causes, it is now accepted that more than 90% of infections of the anal canal originate in glands (anal crypts) located in the thickness of the anus.

How is a perianal abscess diagnosed?

The diagnosis is simple and is based on the observation of symptoms and signs such as fever, tumour, flushing, pus emission, etc.

Sometimes, it is necessary to take a sample of the abscess material in order to perform a microbiological culture and to know the germ that caused it. In this way, more specific antibiotic treatment can be prescribed.

For the diagnosis of abscesses located deeper within the anal canal, an endoscopic ultrasound is performed, since the clinical manifestations are not so evident.

How is the perianal abscess treated?

Perianal abscesses always require surgical drainage.

The treatment of this disease is always surgical, not being recommended its delay based on the taking of antibiotics or anti-inflammatory because of the risk of progression and spread of the infection.

Thus, in the presence of a clinic compatible with perianal sepsis (generalized infection of perianal origin) it is recommended that drainage and evacuation of the purulent material be performed under local or general anesthesia if the abscess is large.

In the case of secondary fistulas, surgical treatment can be more or less complicated depending on the location of the fistula. It should be done electively and after studying and locating the fistulous pathways to proceed to their complete removal, in order not to injure muscle structures, with the risk of incontinence that this would entail.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of General Surgery
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of General and Digestive Surgery is made up of specialists dedicated to the surgical treatment of endocrine, breast, gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, pancreatic, colorectal and abdominal wall diseases, with special dedication to oncological surgery.

The application of laparoscopic surgery in the interventions reduces the hospital stay, the post-operative discomfort and shortens the patient's recovery.

We have a great experience in laparoscopic colorectal surgery, of the adrenal gland, liver and pancreas, as well as in obesity surgery.

Treatments we perform

  • Colorectal surgery.
  • Breast surgery.
  • Surgery of the hemorrhoids.
  • Pelvic floor surgery.
  • Endocrine and obesity surgery.
  • Esophageal and gastrointestinal surgery.
  • Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery.
  • Abdominal wall surgery.
  • Liver transplant.
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Center of Excellence in Obesity Surgery by the International Federation for Bariatric Surgery.
  • 90% survival rate in liver transplants.
  • We are the private hospital with the largest technological equipment.

Our team of professionals