How do I get treatment

For London Colorectal please telephone:

  • +44 (0) 20 7403 6061

For Gastroenterology please call:

  • +44 (0) 20 7234 2292


Patient Advice following the drainage of a perianal abscess

An anorectal abscess is a collection of pus in the anal or rectal region. It may be caused by infection, inflammatory bowel disease or blocked anal glands.

Your consultant will explain the extend of the problem with you and also the procedure which is required and which they feel is appropriate for you. This may include a wide excision of the area and surrounding skin, leaving the wound open for it to heal from within, or primary closure, whereby the wound is sutured together.

  • It is advisable to continue to take pain relief as prescribed by your consultant especially prior to dressing changes.
  • Your wound may be left open and packed with a dressing known as Aquacel or Kaltostat each day. You can apply a dry dressing if the position of the wound will allow, otherwise it may be advisable to apply some sterile gauze over the area and keep in place with your underwear.
  • If your wound has had a primary closure, then you may have sutures or Dermabond in place. You will be given advice regarding this prior to your discharge.
  • It will be arranged by the hospital prior to your discharge for your dressing to be renewed the following day, this can be either at London Bridge Hospital Outpatients Department or by your practice/district nurse at your GP practice.
  • You may experience some bleeding from the wound post surgery, this is normal and nothing to worry about. However if the bleeding should become excessive please inform your consultant and seek immediate attention.
  • It is important to keep the area clean. Avoid washing with perfumed lotions and potions as these can irritate the area. If you have a detachable shower use this to clean the area well, especially prior to any dressing change.
  • It is advisable to avoid sitting or walking for long periods at first as this can cause friction.
  • You should avoid swimming until the wound has totally healed as the chlorine can irritate the wound and also you are at risk from picking up an infection.
  • It is important not to allow yourself to get constipated. You may require laxatives in order to prevent this. Your Consultant will discuss this with you prior to your discharge.
  • You should not drive or operate machinery for at least 24-48 yours until you have fully recovered from the anaesthetic.
  • Ensure that you drink plenty of fluids, in particular water and try to have a high fibre diet to help prevent constipation.
  • You should avoid swimming until the wound has totally healed as the chlorine can irritate the wound and also you are at risk from picking up an infection.
  • You may find vigorous exercise uncomfortable whilst the wound is healing and therefore should be avoided. Start with gentle walking and build up your activity gradually depending on how the wound is healing.
  • Depending on your job you may be advised to take 1-2 weeks off in order to allow you to recover and also to enable you to have the dressings changed regularly.