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Anal Fissure

Anal Fissure Facts

  • An anal fissure is a small tear in the skin overlying the anus that may occur when a hard stool is passed. Constipation is the most common cause of anal fissures.
  • Pain during the passage of a hard bowel movement, and sharp pain that continues afterward are the most common symptoms of an anal fissure. Sitting can be quite painful with an anal fissure.
  • A few drops of blood may be seen in the toilet bowel or when wiping. In an infant, there may be blood in the diaper.
  • The sphincter muscles that surround the anus and help prevent stool leakage may go into spasm and cause longer lasting pain with an anal fissure.
  • Diagnosis is made by history and inspection of the anus. No other tests are usually needed.
  • Treatment basics include drinking more fluid and eating a high fiber diet. Stool softeners, fiber supplements, and laxatives may be prescribed.
  • Surgery is considered only after diet and medications have failed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/7/2014
Medical Editor:

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