Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a small cut or a tear in the anal canal. Anal fissure is typically caused by trauma to the anus or anal canal.

 

It causes severe pain and bright red bleeding when you pass stools. It may also cause spasms in the sphincter muscle (ring of muscle at the end of the anus).

Causes

  • Chronic constipation with straining and passage of hard dry stools.
  • Chronic diarrhea.
  • Anal sex.
  • Insertion of foreign objects into the anal canal.

Symptoms

  • Severe pain initiated during a bowel movement, lasting hours afterwards.
  • Blood on the outside of stool and on toilet paper.
  • Itching around the anus.
  • A skin tag or lump next to the tear or tender area.

Treatment

  • The tear can heal on its own within 4-6 weeks.
  • The primary goal to promote healing is softening of stool by use of fiber supplements.
  • Relaxation of sphincter muscle by use of muscle relaxing medications helps the healing process.
  • If the fissure does not improve with medications, you may need surgery.

FAQs

An anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the skin lining the anus.

Anal fissures can be caused by a variety of factors, including constipation, diarrhea, and childbirth. They can also be caused by straining to have a bowel movement or by hard, dry stools.

Symptoms of an anal fissure may include pain during bowel movements, bright red blood on the toilet paper after a bowel movement. Examination reveals a visible tear in the skin around the anus.

Treatment for an anal fissure may include adding more fiber to your diet to soften your stools, using over-the-counter creams or ointments to soothe the area, and taking warm baths to relax the muscles in the anus. The major barrier to healing of the fissure can be spasm of the anal sphincter muscle. Treatment can also include prescription (nitroglycerin) cream/ointment or botox injection into the sphincter muscle to relax the muscle. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

You can help prevent anal fissures by making sure you have regular bowel movements, eating a high-fiber diet, and staying hydrated. Avoiding straining during bowel movements and using the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge can also help prevent anal fissures.

Anal fissures are usually not serious and can be treated effectively. However, if left untreated, they can lead to more serious complications such as infection or scarring.

Anal fissures can often be cured with proper treatment. However, in some cases, they may recur.

It is normal to have some pain or discomfort after an anal fissure has healed. However, if the pain is severe or persistent, it is important to contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

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