Small tears in the tissues of the anal canal can happen to anyone, particularly when you’re constipated or when straining to pass large or hard stools. Called anal fissures, these are common problems that too often cannot heal on their own.
Anal fissures can turn into a longer lasting, chronic problem, and they can cause severe pain and spasming especially after bowel movements. They can also cause an infected track, or anal fistula, to develop. Your best option for treatment could be surgery. A visit to Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists helps you determine the most effective course of action for your condition.
Dr. Lisa A. Perryman has the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat your anal fissure, regardless of its severity. Here’s what you need to know about the condition and the surgical treatments used to repair anal fissures.
Recognizing anal fissures
Pain during a bowel movement is usually the first sign of an anal fissure. It typically happens when the stool you’re passing is large and/or hard. If you’ve been experiencing constipation or straining through bowel movements, a fissure may be more likely. Chronic diarrhea is another potential cause, as are childbirth and having anal sex.
Pain occurs both during and after your bowel movement, and it could remain painful for hours. Bleeding often accompanies a fissure. Bright red blood may appear on toilet paper, the stool, or both. The fissure itself may appear as a crack or split in the skin. A small growth like a bump or skin tag may accompany the fissure.
Surgical treatment to repair anal fissures
Mild cases of anal fissure often respond well to conservative care, like increased dietary fiber, increased hydration, prescriptive ointments, and warm baths to soothe and relax muscles in the area.
Chronic and recurrent fissures are more likely to need surgery to promote effective healing. Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, there are typically two approaches used to help you heal.
Botox® injections into the anal sphincter can help relax its muscles, helpful when spasms accompany a fissure. It’s a minimally invasive outpatient procedure with effects lasting for months, aiding the body’s tissue repair systems.
The traditional procedure for fissures is a lateral internal sphincterotomy (LIS), the most effective approach, with a success rate of over 90%. By cutting a small section of the anal sphincter muscle, the fissure can heal, resolving the pain and spasms. It is a relatively short outpatient procedure, usually around thirty minutes, and recovery is very quick.
If you know or suspect that you have an anal fissure, call or message Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists in Parker, Colorado, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Perryman.