How to Cure a Rectal Fissure - Without Surgery
Rectal fissures, also known as anal fissures, can be incredibly unpleasant. However, they vary greatly in severity and are something which many experience at one time or another. When they are mild, they will heal naturally. If there are acute or chronic, you may need treatment which is a little more invasive. The last line of defence against rectal fissure is surgery, but this is neither guaranteed, nor pleasant. While a doctor will call for surgery if necessary, you will want to do everything you can to heal your anal fissure before it gets to this stage. That is why oneHOWTO brings you this article on how to cure a rectal fissure - without surgery. It could save you time, money and a lot of grief.
What is a rectal fissure?
You may have a rectal fissure and are aware how frustrating and painful they can be, but still aren't quite sure what they are. A fissure is a tear or groove in a part of the body, but not all of them are dangerous or painful. In fact, our brains have a fissure down the middle which separates its two sides. A fissure becomes a problem when you have one which shouldn't be there in the first place. It is frequently due to hard stools, hemmorrhoids, prolonged diarrhea or excessive tension in the anal sphincter muscles. It is a condition that causes severe pain, bleeding and constipation, but through some simple steps you can accelerate healing.
Causes of an anal fissure
The main symptom of an anal fissure is a very intense, sharp pain in the anus, especially when defecating, or just after you do. This may be accompanied by itching, burning and blood in the stool, which can be seen instantly on toilet paper. Furthermore, in the case of interruptions in defecation due to pain there is the risk of suffering from obstipation and prolonged constipation.
As it is in such a sensitive part of the anatomy, it can be very problematic. The most common cause of anal or rectal fissure, is when the anus is stretched too much or for too long.
This is usually when the anus has received some sort of trauma. This can be from something simple like over-wiping or can be from a related condition which affects the area, such as diarrhoea. They may become chronic if the anus spasms too much or if the open fissure is infected by bacteria in your fecal matter.
Another factor to be kept in mind is that people who regularly have anal sex are at greater risk of suffering this condition. But above all, rectal fissures are closely associated with constipation. Continuous and difficult deposition of large hard stools can end up causing a tear in the lining of the anus.
Cleanliness of the rectal area is very important, but it needs to be cleaned correctly. This means gently and without any abrasive products which may do more harm than good. Rectal or anal fissures can also be due to colitis, Crohn's disease, sexual practices or over-extension during childbirth.
Cleaning a rectal fissure
The first step to treating a rectal fissure is to ensure the area is clean. This can be tricky when you have an anal fissure due to the area's sensitivity. As a rectal fissure is essentially a wound, you need to be careful how you treat it. If you try to clean it too hard, you can end up making it worse. If you use an inappropriate cleaning product on it, then you can damage it further. You need to clean it with warm, but not hot water.
You don't want to use any cleaning product if you can help it. Even if it is a mild one, it is usually not good for broken skin. A good idea is to remove the shower head and wash your anus with the stream on low pressure. If you put it on high pressure, even accidentally, it can be dangerous for an anal fissure. Ensure it is at the right pressure and make sure no one will change this pressure while you are cleaning.
Do not have the water too hot or too cold. Either way can exacerbate the situation. Also, remember that you are cleaning the rectal fissure area, not giving yourself an enema. Do not put water in your anal cavity. Repeat several times so that the area is completely clean. Use a very soft cloth or sponge if necessary, but best not to. Dry with a soft, clean towel.
How to treat anal fissures
Some mild anal fissures can heal spontaneously within a few days and do not require specific treatment. However, it is best to see a doctor to rule out any association with other more serious diseases. They will be able to start you on the most appropriate treatment for each case.
There are several ways to treat anal fissures, but one of the most common is by applying analgesic and anti inflammatory ointments or creams. These help relieve the pain and speed the healing of the wound. To this treatment the doctor may also add prescription pills or drops to lessen the pain when this occurs intensively.
Once you have cleaned the area, you can apply your ointment. Only use an ointment which has been prescribed by a trusted healthcare professional. To treat rectal or anal fissure, you may have been prescribed a nitroglycerine ointment. This works in a similar way as surgery (with less permanence) as it relaxes the sphincter muscle. Adverse side effects include persistent headaches if used continually.
Lidocaine can help with discomfort, but does not work as a treatment in itself. Whatever the ointment you use, the design is to allow more blood flow to the area. This will help the anal fissure heal more quickly.
Benzocaine is safe for anal use and is an ointment which will work as an effective pain relief, but not like haemorrhoid cream. Haemorrhoid cream works to constrict the area, so do not use this if you have an anal fissure. It may soothe the area, but will not provide effective relief.
Another alternative is when the medical specialist considers applying an injectable anesthetic in the rectal area to combat severe pain and facilitate healing.
Furthermore, we can recommend the temporary use of laxatives to soften the stool. This makes defecation easier and prevents the anal fissure from worsening. These should be taken only under prescription and according to the instructions given as to the indicated dose. Too much could lead to very fluid and constant depositions that would also cause irritation and exacerbate inflammation.
Prevention of rectal fissure
A better way to treat an anal fissure is to reduce the risk of having one in the first place. If you have a poor diet, it may lead to you having rectal fissures. This is because your bowel movements may contain substances which can disturb the area. If you have diarrhea, you will likely go too much and this can put extra strain on your sphincter.
If you are constipated, then you may not go too much. However, when you do, it is often enlarged. This can be very difficult to pass and can lead to a rectal fissure.
Eating healthy will keep your digestive system healthy. This will lessen the likelihood of a rectal or anal fissure. Eat lots of fiber and roughage to keep you healthy. Plenty of exercise to go with a balanced diet is also key, so make sure to stay active. This will also help keep you regular. For more thorough information, take a look at our article on how to prevent anal fissure.
- Increase consumption of foods rich in fiber.
- Drinking more water and fluids such as natural fruit and vegetables juices.
- Avoid foods that cause constipation such as rice, bananas, apple, carrot, pastries and high-fat meals.
- Opt for whole grains, leaving aside those that are refined or processed.
- In general, foods that help you go to the toilet are recommended.
Therapeutic seated baths are also good for relief from the discomfort of an anal fissure. These help relax the sphincter muscle and thus help fight constipation. These are hot baths, which should cover only the hips and buttocks.
When none of the methods mentioned above are sufficient totreat anal fissure it is possible that the patient has to undergo either Botox injections in the anal sphincter or minor surgeryin order to relax the anal muscle.Thereforeit is important to see your doctor to ensure the treatment is that best suited to your case.
Why do you not want surgery?
Although surgery to treat a rectal fissure can be effective at resolving the immediate problem, it can lead to certain complications. One side effect of anal fissure surgery is incontinence. This is when you relieve your bowels involuntarily and is something which can be very stressful.
The recommended surgery with the highest success rate is lateral internal sphincterotomy. How it works is that it partially divides the sphincter itself which reduces the strain on the area and increases blood flow. Unfortunately, as it is quite a drastic change to your anus and sphincter area, it can lead to complications in the long term. This is why we recommend treating your rectal fissure without surgery. If what you need is more information on the subject, take a look at our article on what to expect after fissure surgery.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Cure a Rectal Fissure - Without Surgery, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.