Anal tear (or anal fissure)
An anal tear or fissure is a cut or tear in the anal opening.
Once a tear occurs bowel movements can be very painful. Sometimes there is bleeding.
If you are worried about an anal fissure you should speak to your GP in the first instance. Anal fissures can usually be treated at home. Eating more high fibre foods, drinking more fluids will ease any constipation - a major cause of anal fissures. Use of stool softeners or laxatives may also be recommended. Fibre supplements are another way to add bulk to your diet. Frequent warm sitz baths can also help to relieve symptoms.
Chronic anal fissures may need further examination. In some cases you may be referred to a specialist for a flexible sigmoidoscopy.
What happens during anal fissure surgery?
In cases where the fissure does not heal surgery to release a small portion of the internal anal sphincter muscle relieves pressure on the fissure allowing it to heal. This procedure is usually performed under general or spinal anaesthesia as a day case.
Going home after anal fissure surgery
Pain often disappears fairly quickly following anal fissure surgery although complete healing can take up to two months. Stool softeners and laxatives may be recommend for the first few weeks. You should eat a high fibre diet to prevent recurrence.
Most people make a full recovery from anal fissures. As with any surgical procedure there could be complications:
- Faecal incontinence (loss of bowel control)
- Complications from anaesthetic