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An anal abscess is an infection in a gland in the anal canal around the anus. Fistulas are often the result of an abscess, and are passages connecting the anus and the skin or vagina. An anal abscess or fistula can be caused by infection or inflammatory bowel disease.
Anal abscesses are treated with drainage. Generally, fistulas require surgical repair. Procedures are individualized after conversation between the surgeon and the patient. Rarely, fistulas can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease. This type of fistula can be treated with specialized medical treatment.