When are fistulas a potential complication of anorectal abscess?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: Andre Hebra, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

The formation of fistulous tracts (see below) is an important potential complication of anorectal abscess drainage. The type of organism cultured from an anorectal abscess is an important predictor of fistula formation after surgical incision and drainage. Underlying anal fistulas are present in 40% of abscess cultures that are positive for intestinal bacteria; however, cultures growing Staphylococcus species are associated with perianal skin infections and typically indicate that there is no risk of subsequent fistula formation.


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