My Butt Hurts

My Butt Hurts

A friend recently called me saying her child was complaining that his butt hurt.  This might sound funny but as a pediatric gastroenterologist, I take this complaint very seriously. The child was quickly seen and was found to have a “bump” near his bottom opening (anus).  After further investigation, the “bump” was diagnosed as a perirectal abscess due to Crohn’s disease.

What causes a perirectal abscess?

A perirectal abscess is an infection that causes a pocket of pus near the anus. The butt area may itch and be very painful for your child. Most abscesses are caused by a blocked anal gland that gets infected. An abscess also can be caused by a tear, or fissure, in the anus. Diseases that affect the digestive system, such as Crohn’s disease, may cause an abscess.

Symptoms associated with a perirectal abscess:

  • Pain or discomfort near the anus or bottom
  • Drainage from or near the anus
  • Constipation or painful bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain

How is a perirectal abscess diagnosed?

  • Examination by the physician
  • Imaging such as MRI or CT

Is a perirectal abscess serious?

Yes, a delay in treatment may cause worsening of the condition and unnecessary complications.

If your child has pain or swelling in the bottom area, please speak to your child’s physician to find out the cause.