What Is an Anal Fissure?
An anal fissure is a small tear in the lining of the anal mucosa. This can occur as the result of constipation or after passing hard or large stools. This condition can affect anyone and at any age, but is more commonly seen in young infants.
Anal Fissure – Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of an anal fissure include:
- Pain during and after bowel movements
- Bright red blood on the stools and on the toilet paper
- A visible tear in the anal canal
- Some inflammation and itching sensation
Causes of Anal Fissure
Below are some of the causes that commonly lead to an anal fissure:
- Passing large or hard stools due to constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Giving Birth (Vaginal delivery)
- Chron’s disease
- Anal cancer
Anal Fissure Treatment
An anal fissure usually heals within a few weeks if you follow the instructions of your doctor. In general, most cases of anal fissure can be treated with nonsurgical methods. However, if the fissure doesn’t improve or if you have a severe case from the beginning, you might require surgery.
Your doctor might recommend:
- Increasing your fluid intake and a high-fiber diet
- Soaking in warm water for a specific length of time each day
- Applying some topical anesthetic creams
- Applying nitroglycerin directly into the anal sphincter. This helps to relax and increase blood flow to the area, and promote healing in the anal canal
- Taking pain killers if needed
In case you have a severe anal fissure or, if after nonsurgical treatments your condition doesn’t get any better, your doctor might recommend other procedures, including surgery.
The good news is that all the surgical procedures to treat this condition can be done with minimally invasive surgery, including:
- Anal Dilatation and Botox injections. Which gently stretch and relax the anal muscle to allow the fissure to heal.
- Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy (LIS). Which involves cutting a small portion of the anal sphincter muscle to reduce spasm and pain, and promote healing.
After the procedure, your doctor will recommend you to have a high-fiber diet and even some fiber supplements, along with drinking plenty of liquid. Also, 1-2 sitz bath’s a day may be recommended to help improve the healing process.