Perineal Abscess: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

A perineal abscess is an infection that causes a painful lump in the perineum. The perineum is the area between the scrotum and the anus in a man. In a woman, it's the area between the vulva and the anus. The area may look red and feel painful and be swollen. The abscess may form after surgery or after delivery of a baby. It can also be caused by an infection of the prostate gland. The prostate gland is an organ found inside a man's body, just below the bladder.

Your doctor may have done minor surgery to open and drain the abscess.

You may have had a sedative to help you relax. You may be unsteady after having sedation. It can take a few hours for the medicine's effects to wear off. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and feeling sleepy or tired.

The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor gave you a sedative:
    • For 24 hours, don't do anything that requires attention to detail. It takes time for the medicine's effects to completely wear off.
    • For your safety, do not drive or operate any machinery that could be dangerous. Wait until the medicine wears off. You need to be able to think clearly and react easily.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Sit in about 10 centimetres of warm water (sitz bath) 3 times a day and after bowel movements. The warm water helps the area heal and eases discomfort.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You pass maroon or very bloody stools.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse nausea or vomiting.
  • Your pain gets worse.
  • You have a new or higher fever.
  • You have new or increased swelling.
  • You have pus in your stool.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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