How is an anal abscess investigated?

When you are seen in clinic the consultant will take a full history and carry out a clinical examination.
Usually an abscess is readily apparent on examination. If the area is too uncomfortable to examine then the consultant may recommend carrying out an examination under anaesthetic to confirm the diagnosis, where the abscess can be treated at the same time.

Sometimes an MRI Scan or endoanal ultrasound scan will be recommended, particularly if the problem is longstanding or recurrent.
If you are over the age of 40 and have had any bleeding or change in bowel habit the consultant may recommend endoscopic examination of the bowel either by flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to ensure that it is otherwise healthy, again this can often be carried out alongside treating the abscess.

Updated January 2016

What are the next steps?
If you think you have this condition or any of these symptoms
you will need to seek medical advice.
For more information or to make an appointment.
Contact birmingham bowel clinic on 0845 241 7762
or email
If you have private medical care or wish
to pay to see a consultant.
Take this factsheet along to your own
GP and request a referral to one
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