An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the lower rectum (anus) that causes pain during bowel movements. Usually a short-term problem that heals itself with home care within six weeks, the condition is often caused by passing large or hard stools, repeated diarrhea, constipation, anal intercourse, or childbirth. More serious causes with that lead to chronic anal fissure problems include Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases or fistulas near the anus.
The condition is also prevalent in babies.
SIGNS OF AN ANAL FISSURE
Anal fissures are accompanied by these symptoms:
- A visible tear in the anus
- Pain during bowel movements
- Blood on used toilet paper or wipes
- Blood on the surface of stools
- Bleeding that discolors toilet water
- Bad-smelling yellow discharge
Chronic anal fissures are characterized by:
- Painful bowel movements without bleeding
- Itching and irritation of the skin around the anus
- A skin tag at the end of a fissure
TREATING ANAL FISSURES
For most anal fissures, soaking in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes several times a day, especially after bowel movements, can help relax the anal sphincter and promote healing. Taking steps to keep your stool soft, such as increasing your intake of fiber and fluids, also promotes healing.
If your symptoms persist, you’ll likely need further treatment. Your doctor may suggest:
- Externally applied nitroglycerin (Rectiv), the treatment of choice to help increase blood flow to the fissure and promote healing and to help relax the anal sphincter.
- Topical anesthetic creams such as lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine) to relive pain
- Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) injection, to paralyze the anal sphincter muscle and relax spasms.
- Blood pressure medications, such as oral nifedipine (Procardia) or diltiazem (Cardizem) to help relax the anal sphincter.
Surgery to repair the tear may be necessary if nothing else works,
SCHEDULE ANAL FISSURE TREATMENT AT OASIS ADVANCED GASTROENTEROLOGY
If you have anal pain due to an anal fissure, contact Oasis Advanced Gastroenterology in Palm Springs to schedule an Endoscopy with Dr. Asgeri.
Request an appointment online or call 760-699-7607.