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Colorectal Diseases

Perirectal abscess

05/29/2008

Question:

My son has been admitted into the hospital with perirectal abscesses. When he is released what specific treatments or procedures should he follow for this to not happen again? He has had hemorrhoids in the past. Is this the result of having hemorrhoids and what should he be aware of that could happen next because of this? Any information you could give would be most appreciated.

Answer:

Hemorrhoids do not cause perirectal abscesses. They are caused by infected glands in the base of the crypts in the anal canal, in most cases. Almost 70% of perirectal abscesses develop into a fistula. The presence of a fistula could explain the recurrent nature of your son's abscesses. The other cause of persistent anal fistulas, especially those that are complex or deep, is Crohn's disease.

Consider taking your son to a gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon who can clarify the cause of his recurrent problems, and recommend effective treatment.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati