Anal Fissure

Cause and Symptoms

A tear or a crack that develops in the lining of the anus is called an anal fissure. It may happen after a bout of diarrhea when frequent urgent stools seem to be the cause. It also can be caused by the passage of hard bowel movements that are often associated with constipation. The symptoms of a fissure are pain and bleeding. These are the same symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, and the two problems may be mistaken for one another. The pain usually occurs during a bowel movement. The patient may not be bothered between bowel movements. There is only a small amount of bleeding, often only a spot on the paper.

Important Points in Treatment
Most anal fissures will heal by themselves. The use of a stool softener or fiber will help the healing. Healing may be speed up as well by the use of a warm soak (Sitz bath) several times a day. When pain is a problem, your doctor may prescribe a cream that contains steroids. This also may help speed healing.

If a fissure becomes persistent, it may require surgery or injection to heal. Anal fissures often recur. This may be prevented with the use of stool softeners or fiber therapy.

Notify Our Office If

  • You develop anal pain at the time of a bowel movement.
  • You develop rectal bleeding.