Anal Fissure

Overview

An anal fissure is a tear in the skin of the anus. They are usually associated with constipation. Frequent passage of stools or diarrhoea may also cause an anal fissure. Fissures can be acute or chronic.
Anal Fissure Treatment
Spider Vein Treatment Procedure

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Bright red blood
  • Lump over the anus. This is called a sentinel pile.

The most dramatic thing about anal fissures is the pain. This is usually intense and severe. It is often described as burning or searing. The pain after bowel movements can last for a few hours.

Acute anal fissures usually heal on their own, or require simple treatment, medication and occasionally surgery.

A fissure is considered chronic if it persists beyond 6 weeks. These are sometimes associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

When to Seek Treatment

  • Pain during bowel movement.
  • Blood in the stools or on the toilet paper.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is confirmed by a careful examination of the anus.

Treatment

  • The initial treatment for an anal fissure involves pain relief and medication to relieve constipation or stop diarrhoea.
  • Other simple treatments include
    • Avoiding constipation by increasing fibre and water intake, medication to soften stools.
    • Sitz bath – sitting in warm water to help relieve pain and alleviate irritation.
  • Topical ointments can be used to relax the tight muscle tone of the anus

Surgery known as lateral sphincterotomy may be performed if the above measures fail. A small cut is made to the anal muscles to release the tight muscles.

Causes

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Childbirth

Risk Factors

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Anal cancer
  • STDs

Consult Our Doctor

Dr Jane Tan Jye Yng
Colorectal & General Surgeon

MBBS (Singapore), M.Med (Surgery), MRCS (Edin), FAMS (Surgery)

FAQs

Avoiding standing still for long periods will reduce the pressure in the veins in the legs. For people who need to stand for long periods at work, wearing compression stockings will reduce the pressure build up in the legs.

The ultrasound will be done of the legs from the thigh to the calves. Please wear or bring along a pair of shorts to change into for the scan.

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