What is Fissure?
A lining tear in the lower part of the rectum results in pain while passing stools. Anal fissures usually don’t result in grave problems. Anal fissures generally heal at home with proper treatment after some time. They are termed as acute or short term fissures. If your anal fissure doesn’t heal after 12 weeks, then it may be a chronic fissure. A long term fissure might require medical treatment. It is quite a normal and treatable problem. All age groups of people may be affected, even otherwise healthy and young people.
Trauma or injury in the anal cavity may cause an anal fissure. Injury might happen when:
Rectal exams, anal intercourse or foreign object insertion can cause fissures as well. In few instances, Crohn’s disease might cause a fissure. Few doctors believe that the sphincter tension might cause fissures. The inner anal sphincter isn’t controllable whereas the outer sphincter can be controlled at will. Thus this muscle has a lot of tension. If the pressure builds up too much, it may cause a spasm and reduce the blood flow causing a fissure. This pressure might slow the healing process for an existing fissure. Your doctor can help in diagnosing anal fissures depending on a physical exam and the symptoms.
The exam might include:
The doctor might wait for the fissure to heal before proceeding with anoscopy or rectal exams. If the exam is critical, local anesthetics may be used for numbing the area. A doctor may also look into any other conditions that may cause the fissure. Having more than one fissures or having it in a region where they don’t usually happen might indicate a graver problem, like an immunocompromised system or IBS.
90% of all short term fissures heal on their own or with Home Remedies. These include the use of fiber supplements and stool softeners and periodic sitz baths. 40% of chronic anal fissures heal with home treatment. Not all home treatments are effective in treating fissures. If the fissure lasts longer than 12 weeks then prescription medicines may be needed. These include high BP medicines, nitroglycerin cream and Botox injections.
If you think fissure and fistula are the same, you are mistaken. While the term fissure refers to the tear of the skin, fistula refers to the abnormal tube-like passages or connections between organs. Fissures get cured with or without treatment in a few days to few weeks, and do not lead to complications. On the contrary, fistulas when left untreated may lead to complications.
So, read on further to know about the distinction, how to recognize the symptoms and avail treatment.
What is anal fissure?
An anal fissure can occur due to various reason, such as prolonged diarrhea, anal sex, vaginal childbirth, rectum cancer, etc. For majority of the cases, it is usually due to constant constipation or strained bowel movements, that tear down the muscles controlling the sphincters to the inner rectum or the anal canal.
What is anal fistula?
Anal fistulas are not tears but abnormal abscesses near the anus, filled with pus. In fistula, a tunnel is formed under the skin which connects these abscesses to the infected glands. Fistulas are usually the results of present or previous abscesses. If ignored or left untreated, one single fistula can lead to the development of a more complex fistula, where the single fistula tract ends up creating multiple openings.
Symptoms of anal fissure and anal fistula
Some of the common symptoms of an anal fissure are excruciating pain in the anal area every time the bowel movement occurs, constant itching or burning sensation in and around the anus, bloody stool and visible tears and cracks around the anus.
For anal fistula, some of the very common symptoms are a throbbing pain in the anus, which continues to increase, difficulty in sitting down for longer period, swelling and redness around the anus, accompanied by skin irritation, discharge of blood and pus, and at times fever.
To completely cure anal fissure and fistula, it is the various surgical options that are the most effective ones. However, when diagnosed in its earliest form, medications like antibiotics, analgesics, and antipyretics can often help. It is solely depending on the location, type, and size or severity of the fistula or fissure, the treatments may vary from person to person and so does the recovery time.
Though, these conditions cannot be cured with dietary changes or exercise, following a healthy diet can boost healthy bowel movement, reducing chances of constipation or diarrhea that results in fissures.
Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, it is essential that you visit the nearest medical facilities once you notice any signs of fissure or fistula , to avail the right treatment and get relief from the symptoms quickly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
An anal fistula, is also called as fistula- in -ano, it is a small channel that develops between the end of the large intestine called the anal canal and the skin near the anus. This is a painful condition, especially when the patient is passing stools. It can also cause bleeding and discharge during defecation.
Genesis of fistula-in-ano
Almost all anal fistulae occur due to an anorectal abscess that begins as an infection in one of the anal glands. This infection spreads down to the skin around the anus causing fistula-in -ano. The anorectal abscess usually leads to pain and swelling around the anus, along with fever. Treatment for anorectal abscess involves incising the skin over the abscess to drain the pus. This is done usually under local anesthesia. A fistula-in-ano happens when there is failure of the anorectal abscess wound to heal completely. Almost 50% of patients with an abscess go on to develop a chronic fistula-in-ano.
A clinical evaluation, including a digital rectal examination under anesthesia, is carried out to diagnose anal fistula. However, few patients may be advised screening for rectal cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and diverticular disease.
The only cure for an anal fistula is surgery. The type of surgery will depend on the position of the anal fistula. Most patients are treated by simply laying open the fistula tract to flush out pus, called Fistulotomy. This type is used in 85-95% of cases and the fistula tract heals after one to two months.
Other techniques like Fibrin glue and Bioprosthetic plug are also used to surgically treat anal fistulas. In the Fibrin glue technique, glue is injected into the fistula to seal the tract, after which the opening is stitch closed. Bioprosthetic plug is a cone shaped plug made from human tissue, which is used to block the internal opening of the fistula. After this stitches are used to keep the plug in place.
Whatever the surgical technique, one can experience minor changes in continence. Patients usually don’t require antibiotics after surgery but have to take pain medication. They may also have to use gauze to soak up drainage from anus. After surgery, patients should seek help if they have increased pain or swelling, heavy bleeding, difficulty in urination, high temperature, nausea or constipation. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General surgeon.
Anal fissures are the small tears formed in the anal lining. They are also known as anal ulcers. An anal fissure causes a lot of pain and bleeding during your bowel movements. Usually a fissure heals automatically in a few days time. It can be treated with simple home remedies as well.
Individuals of all age groups can suffer from anal fissures. It is not a very serious problem and heals on its own in a few weeks. Although it can heal itself, there are certain treatments which can help relieve the pain you get from an anal fissure.
An anal fissure has quite a lot of symptoms for you to understand what you are suffering from:
Although most fissures do not require treatment, there are a few remedies that will help cure them faster:
Related Tip: "What Are Anal Fissures and How Can You Deal With Them?"
Anorectal diseases, affect the rectum or the muscles surrounding the analregion. Some of these conditions can be difficult to live with, as the symptoms interfere with everyday life. Here is a look at two of the most common anorectal diseases, their symptoms, and their treatment.
Anal fistula is an unnatural tunnel formation between the anus and a portion of the surrounding skin. It is usually caused due to an infection or blockage in the anal cavity. Here are some common symptoms associated with anal fistulas-
If you have anal fistula, you need to seek immediate treatment. Here are some forms of treatment used to manage the condition-
A small tear or cut in the lining of the anus is known as an anal fissure. Often, such a tear causes discomfort and bleeding during bowel movement. Its symptoms include-
Here is a look at the treatment options open to you, if you suffer from anal fissure-
Consult a surgeon immediately if you notice signs of either of these disorders near your anal region. The doctor will advise you regarding the treatment.
Nowadays new and effective method to treat high and complex fistula known as vaaft. Advantage of vaaft like minimal post operative pain reduced hospital stay, requires very small incision instead if very long incision, sphincter preservation in the high fistula, you can get back to work soon as compare to conventional fistula surgery
What is Fissure?
The exam might include: