An anal fissure is a small tear or ulcer (open sore) in the skin around the anus which causes pain and sometimes bleeding after you go to the toilet. Around one in ten people suffer an anal fissure at some point in their life.They can occur at any age but are most common in people aged 15-40 and normally heal within six weeks. It may be caused by constipation or an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) but in many cases no clear cause can be identified.
Anal Fissure Symptoms
Symptoms that people may experience with anal fissure include a sharp pain when passing stools, often followed a deep burning pain that may last several hours. A small amount of blood may show in their stools or on the toilet paper.
Anal Fissure Diagnosis
Doctors are used to dealing with anal fissures so don’t let embarrassment prevent you from consulting a GP, who can recommend self-help measures and treatments to relieve the symptoms and prevent future risk. A doctor may want to perform a medical examination and if the symptoms do not subside, you may be referred to a colorectal consultant who specialises in bowel conditions and can offer specialist treatment and advice.
Anal Fissure Treatment
Adopting simple self-help measures such as having plenty of fibre in your diet, drinking plenty of fluids and undertaking exercise can make passing stools easier and allow the fissure to heal. Painkillers, laxatives and a range topical creams may be prescribed. Surgery can be performed to remove damaged skin and various injection options can be used to relieve pressure and promote healing. More than 90% of people experience good long-term results from surgery, although it does carry a small risk of complications. It is normally a day surgery procedure under general anaesthetic.
To ask a question about anal fissure or to book an appointment, contact our specialist team available Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9am – 1pm.
Our gastrointestinal specialists team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs. If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment. If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer for authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP. If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use.Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.