A fairly common, painful condition in which a small portion of the anal canal lining is torn or cut. The anal canal is the last part of the rectum which ends at the anus. Stool passes through the anal canal and anus during a bowel movement. An anal fissure can be caused by constipation or a forceful bowel movement, although a tight anus also may be a contributing factor. Once the skin is torn, each subsequent bowel movement can be painful, Often there is bleeding associated with a painful bowel movement. The amount of bleeding is usually small and may be noticed in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper as bright red in color. The symptoms of an anal fissure are commonly mistaken for hemorrhoids, but hemorrhoids normally do not cause pain during bowel movements.
To diagnosis an anal
fissure is done by examination of the anus and anal canal. The tear usually is easy to
see, although occasionally a small viewing instrument, called an proctoscope, sometimes will be used in
About 50-75% of anal fissures treated in this fashion will usually heal in a couple of weeks. If the fissure does not heal, you need to see your health care provider
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Warning: Do not use enemas
or laxatives if abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting are present unless directed by your
health care provider.
Rectal bleeding or failure to have a bowel movement after use of a laxative or enema may indicate a serious condition.
Discontinue use and consult your health care provider.
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