Copyright (c) 2011 Julie Glynn
If you have suffered from a gluteal abscess that was not properly treated, you will want to know why this happened, and what you can do about it. Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
What is a Gluteal Abscess?
An abscess is a collection of pus, a thick fluid which contains white blood cells, dead tissue and bacteria. On appearance, an abscess will be a hard lump surrounded by inflamed tissue. They can develop anywhere on the body, but commonly occur under the skin close to the anus - known as a gluteal abscess.
Therefore a gluteal abscess does not grow in the anus itself (a perianal abscess) but below it. To be precise, they form under the skin on the subcutaneous plane of the buttock muscle. This usually occurs when the glands in the perianal area become infected. However, a gluteal abscess may also arise from the necrosis of fat in the buttock, which is caused by repeated trauma to the tissue (for example, from frequent injections).
Symptoms of a Gluteal Abscess.
When a gluteal abscess begins to grow, the patient will notice a lump close to the anus. Depending upon the severity of the condition, he/she may also suffer the following symptoms:-
* Pain around the buttocks;
* Red, inflamed tissue around the buttocks which is hot to touch;
* An upset stomach;
* Diarrhoea and vomiting;
How Should a Gluteal Abscess be Treated?
A gluteal abscess can readily be identified upon examination, as the lump will often be apparent, while the area will be red and swollen. Once an abscess has formed and been diagnosed, treatment should be provided by way of surgical drainage. This should be done under general anaesthetic, and should be performed within a timely fashion. Otherwise, infection may spread, and necrosis of the tissue is a possibility.
It is also worth noting that antibiotics have little use in treating an abscess, as the medication cannot penetrate the pus. Nevertheless, antibiotics may be used to treat the other effects of infection (such as fever), which can be particularly important in patients with other health complications.
Gluteal Abscesses and Medical Negligence.
If there is a delay in diagnosing and treating a gluteal abscess, a patient's health could be put at serious risk. Indeed, an untreated abscess is likely to make someone very ill, and could lead to Necrotising Fasciitis (a flesh-eating disease), extensive debridement of the tissue, unsightly scarring and even an anal fistula. If this has happened to you, you need to speak to a legal expert. This is because you may well have been the victim of medical negligence, meaning the treatment you received for your gluteal abscess fell below an acceptable standard of care.
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