Have you read about the anal canal in your science chapter?

Almost everyone read it in human physiology in school days, however, if still, some don’t, then understand it is as a short tube which ends at the digestive tract or in better words, rectum (part of large intestine).

Sometimes, due to chronic diarrhea, anal intercourse, constipation, hard and dry bowel movement or by stretching of the anal canal, a small rip or tear start to appear in the inner lining (mucosa) of the anal canal, and this is known as anal fissure.

Besides these, there are some less popular causes for anal fissure including inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, HIV, syphilis, anal cancer and more.

Initially, it looks like a paper cut and known as acute anal fissure. However, after some time the growth of fleshy layers in and out the anal canal become visible as well as cut turns deeper, known as chronic anal fissure.

So, if you see or face the following symptoms, then don’t be silent and consult a good physician on time for early and better treatment.

  • Excessive pain during or after the bowel movement, which lasts for a few minutes to hours
  • Red blood stain with or after the passage of stool
  • Internal anal sphincter spasm
  • A tear or crack in the distal anal canal
  • Presence of any small lump on the skin near the anal canal

In today’s day and age, technology has advanced so much that there are different methods of testing are available in the market to diagnose the anal fissure. Some of the most popular are mentioned below:

  • Anoscopy: In this process, a flexible tube, an anoscope is used. Doctor insert it into the anus for diagnosis.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: In this method, a thin flexible tube connected with video, is inserted to the bottom part of the intestine (colon) for diagnosis. It is applicable for the age group below 50 years.
  • Colonoscopy: As the name implies, in this process a tubular device is inserted to the rectum to examine the entire colon. It may be available for the age group above 50 years.

Well, all of them have certain advantages and disadvantages, so it is advisable to conduct the test on the advice of qualified physicians. Once the doctor has diagnosed, the next step to follow is treatment. Again, there are numbers of options in the treatment of anal fissures like non-surgical treatment and surgical treatment according to the cause, symptom, and stage of anal fissure.

  • Non-surgical treatment for anal fissure includes:

Externally applied nitroglycerin:

The function of nitroglycerin is to enhance the blood flow as well as to relax the muscles of the anal sphincter. Although its prolonged use may cause severe headaches.

Topical anesthetic creams:

Creams like lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine) can be applied around the area of anal opening to get relief from excessive pain.

Laser treatment:

Undoubtedly, perianal skin is delicate and soft so, instead of any cut or wound, physicians are now treating anal fissure through the laser treatment. It has a low rate of complications and a painless process to get rid of acute anal fissure permanently.

In the process, an adequate amount of light is focused on the target area to treat the affected area. On the account of pain and discomfort after surgery, most of the people prefer laser fissure treatment nowadays.

  • Surgical treatment:

In the case of chronic anal fissure, it is difficult to treat them with any other treatment except surgery. In this process, Botulinum toxin (Botox®) injection is inserted into the anal sphincter to paralyze the muscles of the anal sphincter. However, post-operative pain is also intolerable, and one needs to wait long to come back to his/her routine work and diet.

Wrapping note:

Remember, there is no fixed age for anal fissure; however mostly young and middle-aged persons become its victim. So, take a fibrous diet and adequate liquid to avoid the chance of anal fissure.