A fissure is a tear of the skin of the anal canal. Typical symptoms include pain, bleeding and possibly a skin lump if the fissure persists for a long period of time.
The pain associated with an anal fissure is usually brought on by a bowel movement, starting immediately or within the hour. It is often described as burning, tearing or "passing glass".
Fissures are usually the result of stretching or trauma to the skin of the anal canal, but may also be caused by other things such as infections, Crohn's disease or cancerous growths.
Initial treatment is aimed at making bowel movements easier with high fiber, stool softeners & increased fluids. Warm baths may reduce pain by relaxing the sphincter muscle. Topical creams may help by reducing pain or spasms.
If the pain persists, surgical treatment may be necessary to relieve the symptoms and return the patient to a pain-free bowel movement.
A consultation with a board certified surgeon at Advocare Colon & Rectal Surgical Associates who is experienced in all approaches is the best option.