What Is An Anal Fissure (Perianal Fissure)

What Is An Anal Fissure ? A painful tear in the skin of the anus or an ulcer developing on the lining of the anus is called anal fissure or sometimes perianal fissure.

Injuries caused by hard bowel movements are the usual cause of anal fissure. Frequent loose motions can irritate the anus and result in fissures. Rarely, anal sex may result in a tear. If the anal sphincter develops spasms due to the fissure, it may delay healing and make the pain worse.

Severe pain and occasional bleeding may be caused by the fissure at the time of a bowel movement and for short while following it. The pain may recur at subsequent bowel movements too. Fissures are suspected from the typical symptoms and the diagnosis can be confirmed by physical examination of the anus.

Treatment of Anal Fissure

Treatment focuses on measures to avoid repeated injury to the anus, while allowing time for the fissure to heal. Increasing the fiber content in food may facilitate easier bowel movements. Doctors may prescribe stool softeners or advise psyllium to make motions smooth enough to pass without straining. Suppositories like glycerin may be inserted into the lower part of the rectum for lubrication and easy passage of stool. Ointments containing zinc oxide may offer relief and protection and may help in the healing process. Lidocaine or benzocaine may be applied for pain relief. Sitting in a warm bath for a few minutes following a bowel movement may accelerate healing by increasing blood flow to the area.

If sphincter spasm develops, it should be treated for faster healing. Botox injection to the sphincter may stop spasms. Local application of nitroglycerin or calcium channel blockers also may help.

Surgical repair is an option considered when other treatments are not effective. Internal anal sphincterotomy or cutting a piece of internal sphincter may relieve the spasm. Controlled dilation of the anal passage is helpful in preventing repeat episodes.

Perianal Fissure Video Summary

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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