Duration of an abscess in the intestine | Intestinal abscess

Duration of an abscess in the intestine

An abscess in the bowel is an acute event. However, the disease in the course of which the abscess has developed can already exist for a long period of time. The abscess then forms at the bottom of an already existing inflammation.

The inflammation can exist for weeks or have developed acutely. As an abscess can burst open within a few days or hours, it must be treated immediately. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that usually causes the first symptoms between the ages of 15 and 35.

The causes of the disease are largely unclear. However, it is known that nicotine consumption is a risk factor for the development of Crohn’s disease. In addition, a family predisposition to the disease is also known.

The disease is characterised by a high level of inflammatory activity in the bowel and also in other parts of the body, such as the joints, skin or eyes. Patients with Crohn’s disease usually suffer from chronic, bloodless diarrhoea. People with Crohn’s disease are accompanied by unpleasant side effects such as anal fistulas, intestinal constrictions or even intestinal abscesses and anal abscesses.

Crohn’s disease can be treated with drugs that suppress the immune system and glucocorticoids to combat attacks in which symptoms occur. Complications, such as abscesses, are also prevented in this way. If an abscess develops, it must be operated and removed.

In severe cases, parts of the intestine must be removed as well. After an operation for Crohn’s disease, postoperative drug therapy is usually continued. This is intended to prevent a relapse of the disease and the reoccurrence of complications such as abscesses.

Therapy lasting several months includes the use of drugs that down-regulate the immune system, such as azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine or TNF-alpha inhibitors. These are very effective drugs, but often have many side effects. Abscesses can form not only in the intestine, but also in the free abdomen.

In this case one speaks of an intra-abdominal abscess. However, such abscesses should not be confused with abscesses that really develop in the intestinal tissue. In most cases, abscesses develop in the abdominal cavity as a consequence or complication of an operation or organ disease. Stomach ulcers or severe inflammation of the gallbladder can lead to an abscess in the abdomen as a complication. Abdominal abscesses are potentially life-threatening and must always be treated.

What do you do if the abscess burst?

Bowel abscesses develop where inflammatory activity is found. The abscess virtually melts the tissue and thus builds its own body cavity. Unfortunately, this can easily burst open and the contents of the abscess are emptied.

This is a potentially life-threatening complication. A ruptured abscess in the intestine must be operated on and removed immediately to prevent complications such as peritonitis or sepsis. A possible sign of a ruptured abscess is the sudden absence of symptoms. Severe abdominal pain and discomfort should therefore be clarified, especially in the case of previous illnesses such as Crohn’s disease or diverticulosis, even if there is supposed to be improvement.