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Anorectal Abscess and Anal Fistula
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Anorectal abscess and anal fistula are conditions that often occur together. An anal fistula is an abnormal tunnel from the anus or rectum to the skin or another organ. It usually forms when there is an anorectal abscess. An anorectal abscess is a collection of pus from an infection in the anus or rectum.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Your healthcare provider will need to make sure that your anorectal abscess or anal fistula heals. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
You may need to soak in a warm tub or take a sitz bath. A sitz bath may decrease your pain and relax your anal muscle. You may need to do this more than once a day. Ask your healthcare provider for information on how to use a sitz bath and how often you should use it.
High-fiber foods, extra liquids, and regular exercise can help you prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber foods are fruit and bran. Prune juice and water are good liquids to drink. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work. You may also be told to take over-the-counter fiber and stool softener medicines. Take these items as directed.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have increased pain, redness, swelling, drainage, or bleeding in the area.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have blood, pus, or a bad smelling discharge coming from your anus or vagina.
- You have a very bad pain in your rectum or vagina that does not go away.
- You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.
- Your bowel movements are black or have blood on them.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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