Instructions after Drainage of Perirectal Abscess

You have undergone a surgical procedure in the office for the drainage of a perirectal abscess. We suggest that you go home, get off your feet and do as little as possible in the way of physical activity for the rest of the day. An ice bag against the rectal area may be helpful. The numbing medicine that we use generally wears off in 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours and at that time, you will experience some pain. You may have been given a prescription for pain, use it if you need to.

Tomorrow morning, you should get into a tub of warm water. After you have soaked for a few minutes, gently remove the dressing, which is tucked against the anal opening. If you had a strip of gauze packed into the wound, it should be removed in the morning or afternoon. It may also have already fallen out. You do not need to replace it.

For the next several days, as healing takes place, you should take two or three warm baths (sitz baths) daily. You should also keep a cotton or gauze dressing tucked against the anal opening to absorb any drainage or bleeding. It is normal to have some bleeding and discharge from the wound for several weeks. Normal activities can be resumed as tolerated.

If constipation has been a problem or if you are taking pain pills which may make you constipated, take a fiber supplement, such as Metamucil or Citrucel, or a stool softener, such as Docusate Sodium, twice daily. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help with constipation.

When do I call my surgeon?

Call your surgeon if you have any of the following symptoms. You may be experiencing a complication of your surgery.

  • General increased rectal pain
  • Fever of 101°F or higher
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Large amount of bleeding that does not stop

Learn more about Colon & Rectal Surgery at The Oregon Clinic