Anal Abscess, Anal Fistula; Julian Ong explains

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We speak with Julian Ong, a Colorectal Surgeon on Anal Abscess and Anal Fistula.

What are the symptoms of an anal abscess or anal fistula?

“Constant pain is present, occasionally accompanied by swelling that may not be related to bowel movements. Other symptoms include fever and discharge of pus”, explained Julian Ong when asked about the symptoms of anal abscess or anal fistula.

Anal Abscess

Julian Ong explains that an Anal Abscess is a cavity found near the anus or rectum that has been infected and filled with pus, and typically resulted from a severe infection of a small gland, located just inside the anus. This occurs when bacteria or foreign matter enters the tissue through the gland.

“A minor operation will drain the pus from the infected cavity. A deep or large abscess may require surgery under general anaesthesia and hospitalisation. The skin opening is left to heal after the operation, and the wound needs to be cleaned daily”, added Julian Ong.

Anal Fistula

Anal Fistula, on the other hand, is a small tunnel under the skin that connects a previously infected anal gland to the skin on the buttocks outside the anus. It is usually the result of a previous abscess, elaborated Julian Ong.

After draining an abscess, a tunnel may persist in connecting the anus or rectum to the skin. Persistent drainage of mucous or pus may suggest the presence of this tunnel.

Treatment of Anal Fistula may normally involve cutting a small section of the anal sphincter muscle to open the tunnel and convert it into a groove that will then heal outwards. If a large section of the muscle is involved, two operations may be required. The surgery can usually be performed on an outpatient basis in the day surgery centre, or with a short hospital stay.

Dr Julian Ong practises at Julian Ong Endoscopy and Surgery, located at #05-49 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre. For an appointment, please call 6694 0449.

Written by : Eve

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