Skip to main content


Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford

Colon and Rectal Surgeons located in Bloomfield and South Windsor, CT

Abscesses are painful wherever they occur, but in the sensitive anal area, they can be excruciating. If you think you might have an anal or rectal abscess, the highly skilled team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford can help by draining the pus and treating the wound to encourage healing. New England’s largest specialist colorectal practice has offices in Bloomfield, South Windsor, Connecticut, so help is always nearby. Call the office nearest you to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.

Abscess Q & A

What is an abscess?

Anal and rectal abscesses are pus-filled pockets in the perianal area (rectum, anal canal, and anus). These abscesses cause constant, throbbing pain, and you might also have:

  • Painful bowel movements
  • Swelling
  • Constipation
  • Rectal discharge
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Tender anal skin
  • Fatigue
  • Fever and chills

You might also feel a lump near or on the anus. An abscess further up the rectum can cause abdominal pain as well.

When left untreated, an abscess can become a more serious problem called a fistula. Fistulas are abnormal openings in the tissues. If you have an anal fistula, it means this opening is in the skin of your anus. Fistulas often require surgery.

What causes an abscess?

Blocked anal glands, infected anal fissures, and sexually transmitted diseases are the most common causes of anal and rectal abscesses. Additional risk factors that increase your likelihood of having an abscess include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Diabetes
  • Anal sex
  • Prednisone or other steroids
  • Current or recent chemotherapy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

When you go to Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford, your provider can diagnose a visible abscess during your physical exam. If your symptoms indicate you have an abscess, but it’s not clearly visible, your provider can do an anoscopic exam in the office or in the operating room if necessary. In some cases, you might need an ultrasound or an MRI to help with the diagnosis.

How is an abscess treated?

If you have an anal or rectal abscess, it’s unlikely to get better on its own. Your provider at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford needs to drain the pus from the abscess to relieve pressure and promote healing.

This procedure can often be done in the office under a local anesthetic without the need to go to the emergency department. If your abscess is very large or deep, you might need to have it surgically drained in a hospital.

After your procedure, you can take pain medication if you feel uncomfortable. You might benefit from sitting in a warm sitz bath up to four times a day, which can be very soothing. You can also use stool softeners to prevent pain when you move your bowels.

You won’t need antibiotics unless you have an immune system problem or diabetes. To avoid leakage after draining of the abscess, you can wear a pad in your underwear.

For fast relief from the pain of an anal or rectal abscess, call Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford today or book an appointment online.

What we offer