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Can any doc tell me what's the difference between anorectal fistula and abscess?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Cloud
Surgery - Colorectal
2 doctors agree

In brief: Anal abscess/fistula

true perianal abscess arise from anal glands just up inside the anus.
The gland gets blocked but pressure builds up and a tract is formed leading out from the gland to the perirectal spaces (anal fistula). An abscess forms . When the abscess is drained the tract (or fistula) dries up 50% of the time. In the other 50% it remains as an anal fistula, manifesting as a chroninc draining sinus .

In brief: Anal abscess/fistula

true perianal abscess arise from anal glands just up inside the anus.
The gland gets blocked but pressure builds up and a tract is formed leading out from the gland to the perirectal spaces (anal fistula). An abscess forms . When the abscess is drained the tract (or fistula) dries up 50% of the time. In the other 50% it remains as an anal fistula, manifesting as a chroninc draining sinus .
Dr. Robert Cloud
Dr. Robert Cloud
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