You might not have ever heard about anal fissures, but they can be truly problematic and painful for those people who suffer from them. An anal fissure is a tear in the skin found in the anal skin that is close to the anus opening, and many times this tear can extend down into the sphincter. Even though it is not something that is generally discussed, this is a problem that affects a large number of people. However, many find that this problem clears up within four to six weeks. If the tear persists for longer than this time period and it does not respond to traditional treatment, then your physician might suggest that you undergo anal fissure surgery.
In order to know if you are suffering from an anal fissure, then you first need to know what the symptoms are. Many people first notice the pain and discomfort that associated with anal fissures directly after a bowel movement. Most of the time it will in fact feel like your skin is ripping because the fissure is getting aggravated by the constriction of the sphincter muscles as the bowel movement passes through your anus. After you have noticed the pain, then you might also see bright red blood on the toilet paper or in the stool itself. This bleeding is usually very limited and should stop soon after the bowel movement, but the pain can sometimes linger for hours. If your symptoms are in the extreme range, then this could also be a sign that you may need anal fissure surgery in order to fix the pain.
Many times anal tears are caused by problems in the stool. For example, if you are someone who suffers from chronic constipation or diarrhea, then you are at a higher than normal risk for developing an anal fissure. This is because both of these conditions can cause the anal canal to stretch, and this in turn can lead to the tear. Once the tear has been established then you also run into complications that can be caused by the bacteria in the bowel movements that are passing directly next to this open wound.
If you are someone who has developed an anal fissure and you have tried recommended treatments for a period extending out more than three months with no improvement, then you will most likely need to have anal fissure surgery to correct the problem. This may sound like a rather large and complicated procedure, but the truth is that the most common surgical procedure used is usually something that is done on an outpatient basis with general anesthetic. One of the problems that can be encountered when an anal fissure is trying to heal is the fact that it is under so much pressure when it stretches that it is reinjured with each bowel movement. To correct this, a small area is cut internally in the anal canal to allow for a greater expansion with less tension.
It is important to note that there is one concern that needs to be addressed before you decide to go ahead and go through with anal fissure surgery. This is the fact that by relaxing the tension in the anal cavity it could be possible that you develop the inability to control your gas or to have a solid bowel movement. You could also have mild anal leaking, and this is something that could occur in half of all patients for up to a month after the surgery is performed. The good news is that this is something that generally corrects itself naturally within one to two months after the procedure. You will want to make sure that you discuss all of the risks and options with your doctor before you decide to undergo anal fissure surgery.