Treatment anal fissure: conservative and operative
Despite unfavourable conditions in the wound area (intestinal bacteria, confinement, moisture, mechanical stress) the acute anal fissure heals surprisingly mostly by itself. If the symptoms quickly subside, the disease appears to be cured. But sometimes only an apparent healing has occurred: The wound sticks together and heals superficially, but in the depths a chronic inflammation develops due to the intestinal bacteria.
If the scar is not stable and tears open again and again even in normal stools, outpost folds and growths of the mucous membrane (hypertrophic anal papilla) develop. These skin lobules are often thought to be a hemorrhoid or a polyp. They can assume considerable size and emerge from the anus. Over time, the niche can deepen more and more, in which stool particles and bacteria settle, which further irritate the mucous membrane.
Conservative treatment methods
If an acute anal fissure has not existed for a long time, surgery can often be avoided:
- Stool regulation: With very hard stools, the anal fissure tears open again and again due to stretching during stool passage. Very soft stool penetrates more into the wound and adheres more strongly to the base of the wound. So the aim is a shaped, not too hard chair. Flea seed shells are ideally suited for chair regulation. They bind liquid and thus make the hard stool softer and soft stool somewhat firmer.
- Ointment treatment: Various active ingredients can be used to treat anal fissure. The most common is a combination of local anaesthesia (with lidocaine) and relaxation of the sphincter muscle (with diltiazem). This should give the anal fissure the chance not only to adhere superficially, but also to heal stably from the depth.
- Low-Level-Laser-Therapy: The use of laser light is already known for typical problem wounds such as the diabetic foot and the lower leg ulcer (Ulcus cruris) in venous disorders. A multitude of cellular mechanisms of action has been experimentally proven: Inhibition of inflammation, stimulation of growth factors, improvement of connective tissue stability as well as microcirculation and cellular metabolic activity. Treatment with this form of therapy is therefore also an obvious choice for chronic anal fissures. The treatment is performed once or twice a week for six weeks and is painless. At present, our experience is limited to anal fissures where surgery would be considered, but where an operation cannot be planned due to professional obligations or is not desired for other reasons. Most patients treated in this way report a noticeable improvement in their subjective complaints. Whether a sustainable healing can be achieved in the long term cannot yet be proven with certainty.
Surgical treatment methods
The so-called fissurectomy has the purpose to make a deep wound a flat one and to eliminate any kind of pocket or niche formation. Then the wound can heal from the depth and a long-term freedom from symptoms is to be expected. This procedure is always performed under anaesthesia in order not to overlook an anal fistula that sometimes developed at the same time or as a result of the anal fissure.
In our proctological practice we take care of the professional treatment of anal fissures. If you have any questions on this subject, please do not hesitate to call us to arrange an appointment. Dr. Hofer and Mr. Bärtl will be happy to assist you.
Anal fissure: When is surgery necessary?
- If there is very severe pain which often occurs shortly after bowel movement and then lasts for hours or even the whole day.
- When bleeding occurs in almost every bowel movement for a week or longer
- If a complaint has been pending for more than half a year
- If there are secondary changes: outpost fold, hypertrophic anal papilla