Treating Anal Fissures with Sphincterotomy

An anal fissure is a tiny tear around the skin surrounding the anus. It may heal within a period of six weeks but if it remains for more than six weeks then it is called chronic anal fissures. You can have specific fissures symptoms and it causes bleeding and pain. The symptoms of fissures depend upon the type of fissures and its severity. If the symptoms do not reduce then it delays the healing process and becomes a chronic problem. Chronic fissures last for long time but acute fissures remain for a very short period. If you suffer from fissures then you might need medical treatment or surgical intervention to treat fissures. Here is a list of fissures symptoms.

Fissures Symptoms

If you are suffering from anal fissures then you might have the following signs and symptoms:

  • A sharp, burning, and searing pain around the anus.
  • The pain can last for hours after the bowel movement and is severe.
  • Blood can be seen in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper.
  • You can also develop a tag of skin at the edge of the anal region just below the fissures. This is the sentinel pile and so not mistaken it for hemorrhoids.
  • Itching and irritation around the anus.
  • You can even feel a crack around the anal skin.

You can have severe bleeding as well and so, you need to consult a doctor immediately. Whenever you suffer from these symptoms you must consult a health care professional to avoid any complications or further worsen your condition.

What causes Fissures?

Here are some of the causes of fissures:

  • Certain Medications
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Diabetes
  • Childbirth
  • Third trimester of pregnancy
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic or recurrent diarrhea
  • Constipation due to strain during bowel movements

So, you need to observe the stool color and watch for any differences to take further treatment.

Fissure Treatment – Sphincterotomy

Sphincterotomy is a surgical procedure devised to treat fissures in the mucous lining of the anal canal. It is an established treatment to manage and heal anal fissures.

Anal fissures are tears and cracks in the inner wall of the anus. Chronic constipation involving prolonged straining of the sphincter muscle leads to the condition. The spasms in the inner sphincter muscle cause disruption in the blood supply to the anal mucosa. This coupled with bacteria in stools does not allow the sore spot to heal. The discussed procedure resets and lowers the position of the anal sphincter muscle which restores the blood supply to the fissures bringing about a faster healing. Studies revealed that 96% of the procedures conducted in this method healed in an average time frame of 3 weeks.

When medication, diet and lifestyle changes fail to manage the condition the said procedure commonly referred to as lateral internal sphincterotomy comes into the picture.

Anal Fissure

How does the procedure help to heal anal fissures?

The surgery which is generally performed as a day procedure involves stretching, cutting and sizing the anal sphincter muscle. This muscle contracts and relaxes causing the stools to pass from the body. Surgically fixing the muscle checks the increased spasms and weakens the muscle temporarily. These two steps help to heal the fissures. Any underlying scar tissue in the area is also removed simultaneously.

This procedure has minimal side effects with a faster recovery. There is a remarkable improvement in the quality of life.

Possible Complications of Sphincterotomy

  • Smaller degree of fecal incontinence or control over bowels is sometimes reported. There is a problem controlling flatulence too.
  • Hemorrhage may occurr during the surgery and may need immediate attention to arrest the blood loss.
  • Anorectal abscess may occur especially when an anal fistula ( an abnormal passage way in the anal canal) is involved when there is an accidental tear in the mucous lining of the organ during the surgery.

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