What is Anal Fissure?
An anal fissure is described as a condition in which wear, and tear is caused in the lining of the anus. This may result due to childbirth, hard bowel movement, reduced blood flow to the anorectal area, tight anal sphincter muscles. In some rare cases, diseases such as HIV, anal cancer, tuberculosis, syphilis, and herpes may also be the reasons. This condition may lead to pain in the anal region and slight bleeding during bowel movements.
Signs and Symptoms of Fissures
It is common in infants and young children; however, it can affect people of any age. Some of the common symptoms of an anal fissure are as below: –
- Cracks and tear around the anal area.
- Pain during bowel movements
- A small lump of skin near the tear
- Bleeding during and after a bowel movement
- The sensation of burning in the anal area
The diagnosis of anal fissure involves a rectal exam. In this the area around the anus in examined with the help of anoscope. Anoscope may also help to find the causes of anal or rectal pain. After which the doctor may suggest you some treatment options for your condition.
The motive of treatment is to relieve discomfort and pain by healing the damaged lining. Moreover, the treatment will depend on the condition of the patient. Based on the complexity of fissures, it is classified as acute anal fissures and chronic anal fissures.
Recovery Processes for Fissures
Changing a few habits can help you from the strain on the anal opening preventing chances of anal fissure or healing an existing one. Some self-care tips are: –
- Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated drinks to keep yourself well hydrated.
- Increase the amount of fiber in your diet to avoid constipation and soften stool. Some fiber rich food options are; oat, wheat bran, whole grains, cereals, beans, and citrus fruits.
- Over-the-counter stool softeners like laxatives. It acts as a fiber supplement to your diet.
- Don’t put off the urge to go, as it can make your stool harder and lead to constipation.
- Don’t put a strain on the anal canal while peeing.
- Avoid skin irritants that can be harsh to the genital area.
- Sitz bath can improve blood flow and improve the condition.
- Application of ointments such as nitroglycerin or hydrocortisone (cortisone) can be helpful to avoid inflammation and increase blood flow.
- Calcium channel blockers relax sphincter muscles and lower the blood pressure. It may be taken as supplements or applied topically.
- Botox injection into the anal sphincter, temporarily paralyze the muscles of the sphincter and relieves pain. It also fastens up the healing process.
When other forms of treatment fail to respond and give relief, a surgery can be recommended by your doctor. The surgical treatment for anal fissure is called lateral internal sphincterotomy (LIS). The process involves the small incision in the anal sphincter muscle that helps reducing pain and strain on the anal. This ultimately heals the fissures.