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Colorectal Diseases

Chicken and egg question!

01/19/2010

Question:

Hi there, I was diagnosed in 2002 with crohns disease after many different examinations. I then developed an abscess that was painful approx five times in a year and a half. It was intense pain which needed very strong painkillers. The abscess was misdiagnosed as piles by three different doctors on five different visits. This diagnosis also followed some very sore internal examinations. Only after the appearance of the fistula did the right diagnosis of an abscess follow. I have read that if the abscess had been detected and surgically treated the fistula would never have needed to form. Do you agree with this statement or was the fistula going to form anyway? Thank you

Answer:

Anorectal abscess can be very difficult to diagnose. The majority of anorectal abscesses will develop a fistula, whether they are detected and drained early, or late. This is the case if the abscess arises from an infected anal gland, or Crohn's inflammation of the anus and rectum.

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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