Anal Fissure

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

An anal fissure is a cut or tear in the tissue inside your anus. An anal fissure may be acute or chronic. An acute anal fissure is usually small and shallow and often heals without treatment. A chronic fissure may last longer than a month and will usually require treatment. A chronic anal fissure comes back after treatment.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicine:

  • Topical medicine: Topical medicine may be put just inside your anus. This medicine may help your anal muscle relax and increase blood flow to your anus. This medicine may contain anesthesia to help decrease your pain. Your primary healthcare provider will teach you the right way to use topical medicine.

  • Stool softeners: Your primary healthcare provider may also give you medicine that makes your bowel movements softer. This helps prevent constipation. You will be less likely to strain and cause an anal fissure if you are not constipated.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:

Your primary healthcare provider will need to make sure your anal fissure heals. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Bathing:

You may need to soak in a warm tub or take a sitz bath. This may help decrease pain and swelling. You may need to do this more than once a day. Ask your primary healthcare provider how to use a sitz bath and how often you should bathe.

Bowel care:

Do not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Do not strain. Clean the area gently after every bowel movement.

Nutrition:

Eat foods that are high in fiber to help keep your bowel movements soft. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Drink more liquids to help soften your bowel movements. This will help prevent you from straining. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much liquid you should drink each day.

Sexual intercourse:

Avoid anal intercourse for as long as directed by your primary healthcare provider. Anal intercourse may make it harder for your anal fissure to heal. It may also tear more tissue around your anus.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.

  • You still have pain after taking pain medicine.

  • You are unable to have a bowel movement.

  • You have spasms in your anus that do not stop.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have very bad pain in or around your anus.

  • You have bleeding from your anus that does not stop.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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