An anal fissure is a small tear in the lining of the anus. It can cause pain, bleeding and/or itching.
An anal fissure is usually caused by a hard and dry bowel movement which tears the anal lining. Other causes include diarrhoea, inflammation of the anorectal area, viral or bacterial infection and cancer
- Pain at the anus during and/or after bowel movement.
- Bleeding from the anus after bowel movement.
Anal fissure is also diagnosed by bedside examination of the anus.
Most anal fissures heal by themselves without need for an operation. Application of special medicated cream, use of stool softeners, avoidance of constipation, and the use of Sitz baths (soaking the anal area in plain warm water for 20 minutes, several times a day) help to relieve the symptoms and allow healing to occur.
When conservative management fails, surgery to cut a portion of the anal muscle helps the fissure to heal by preventing pain and spasm.