Crohn’s Disease ‘Scope Series’: Perianal Abscess

Crohn’s Disease ‘Scope Series’: Perianal Abscess
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of columns by Mary Horsley about IBD-related procedures. Part one, part two and part three also are available. Continuing my “Scope Series” theme, this column recalls my experience with emergency surgery for a perianal abscess. A perianal abscess, as you can imagine, deals with the anal region of your body, an abscess near or on your rectum. An abscess — an area filled with pus and infection — can appear, sometimes creating a visible lump due to the swelling. The abscess is usually tender to touch, red-hot and extremely sore. In my case, my abscess was around 11 o’clock on my rectum, respectively, and the area grew overnight. I woke with pain in my bottom. And I mean, it was pain IN MY BOTTOM. I could barely walk for fear of tightening muscles down there. When I looked in a mirror, I saw swelling and bruising of the skin. My perianal abscess had gotten so swollen that it was the size of a golf ball. Pressed between my butt cheeks, it was putting me in constant pain. I needed a doctor. If you have pains like this, I suggest an emergency visit. Your doctor will examine the swelling to determine it's an abscess, and whether it needs to be cut open and drained, or if medication can handle the situation. Mine was first diagnosed as hemorrhoids, even though I knew this was wrong. In order to be certain, my doctor went to the emergency department and got the surgeon in charge to "come have a look." Sometimes, a second opinion is needed. With Crohn’s, you may get comfortable showing the usually hidden body parts. In my case, the second docto
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  1. Autumn Sewell says:

    I’ve just been diagnosed with Crohn’s after battling doctors for the last 4 years. I’ve had chronic diarrhea the whole time, been diagnosed as severely anemic, and lost close to 45 lbs since the first of this year. I just had my second colonoscopy and EGS in three years because I currently have a perianal abscess- for 6 weeks now actually. It took me having to go through this to finally get a diagnosis. I had a drainage procedure done roughly 5 weeks ago with ONLY local anesthetic, OUCH!!!!!! Worst pain of my LIFE. Now this abscess has been recurring ever since, causing me extreme pain, leading to a lot of depression. Apparently we were waiting to get a yes or no on the Crohn’s diagnosis before treating the abscess because having Crohn’s changes the surgical approach for treatment. This has been such hell and I’m trying to stay on the bright side of finally having a diagnosis and taking steps towards getting better.

    • Mary Horsley says:

      I am so sorry that you have been just diagnosed, 4 years is a long time to suffer without answers or putting a name to the problem. I, too, suffer constant diarrhea and I lost weight with my Crohn’s too. I am SOOOOO sorry about the drainage, I know mine was painful so I cannot imagine your pain. I truly hope you can find relief!

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