An anal fissure is a small rip in the thin tissue that lines the anus. They typically occur due to passing hard or hard stool, and usually cause pain and bleeding during a bowel movement.
Other symptoms of an anal fissure may include:
- Lump or skin tag on the skin around the anus.
- Pain after a bowel movement that may last several hours.
- Spasms around the anal area.
- Visible crack in the skin near the anus.
Your specialist will likely recommend making some lifestyle changes to help manage your anal fissure. These may include increasing your dietary fiber intake, drinking more fluids, and avoid straining when having a bowel movement.
Muscle Relaxation Medication
Your surgeon may prescribe a medication to help relax the sphincter and decrease spasms.
Your specialist may prescribe a topical cream that can help increase blood flow to the area and promote healing. A cream can also help with the associated pain.
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Injection
Your surgeon may suggest Botox injections, which can help relax the sphincter muscle and decrease spasms.
If other, more conservative options are not effective, your colorectal surgeon may recommend you undergo a surgical procedure to correct your anal fissure. This procedure – known as a lateral internal sphincterotomy (LIS) – involves cutting a small area of the sphincter muscle to reduce pain and spasms, and help the fissure heal. In some cases, some patients are better served with an ano-cutaneous advancement flap procedure.
Your specialist will ask you questions about your health history, and perform a physical examination of your anus and surrounding area.
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