Anal fissures is a really painful disease that affects a huge chunk of population. Many people tend to neglect and put off their treatment as and when they hear from their doctor that they might require surgical cure. Well, open surgery conducted traditionally is a relatively painful process that requires several incisions to be made on the body. People are also afraid of scars and stitch marks that the medical procedure leaves for a long time. The patient needs to stay in bed for some time as the recovery period is also long.
Nevertheless, the advancement of science and technology, a new advanced and modern surgical measures has been developed. It uses laser technology to treat an anal fissure. This process is a day care procedure and the patient quickly recovers from this. It has become more widely used process due to the numerous advantages it offers over the conventional method.
What is anal fissure?
An anal fissure is a tear or small cut in the lining of anal region. This crack in the skin causes excruciating pain along with mixing of some bright red coloured blood with stools during the bowel movements. In most of the cases, an anal fissure can heal within 3 to 4 weeks through use of some home remedial such as, sitz bath or some topical ointments and creams. However, if it does not heal within 8 weeks, it may turn into a serious problem. This acute fissure, then requires surgical procedure to get cured.
It may develop to person of any age but the frequency of an anal fissure is comparatively much higher in children. This is because they are in the habit of passing hard stools and constipation is also quite common during this age group.
Causes of an Anal Fissure
As mentioned above, chronic constipation is the leading reason behind an anal fissure. Frequent diarrhoea, passing of hard and large stools and obesity are other major reasons why a fissure would be formed in a person. Fissures may also develop as a result of lifting heavy objects for long periods and excessive straining while making bowel movements. In addition to these common causes, some less common reasons include inflammatory bowel diseases like Chron’s disease, anal cancer, tuberculosis and herpes. In very rare cases, fissures may also affect a person if he or she is also suffering from HIV or syphilis.
Symptoms of an Anal Fissure
The symptoms of an anal fissure can be far more problematic at a later stage. These signs may vary person to person, but common ones include a clear, visible tear in the skin around the anal region, formation of a lump of skin or a small skin tag near the tear or crack in skin and bleeding while making bowel movements. A patient may even experience excruciating pain in the anal area accompanied by swelling, redness and itching in that whole region.
Laser Surgical Procedure to Treat Anal Fissure
The acute anal fissures can be easily cured using certain conservative techniques at home including dietary changes and increased intake of water. The aim is to make the stool more formed, bulky and soft. Fibre rich diet must be ensured and some stool softeners can be utilized in this regard. Regular physical exercises and refraining from straining while making bowel movements also helps in reducing the symptoms of anal fissures. Warm tub or sitz bath and topical medications like nifedipine gel or nitro-glycerine ointment may also be prescribed by the doctor to provide relief to the affected person. However, if the problem of fissures persists for more than 8 weeks and these remedies do not prove effective in curing the signs, then a surgery might be needed.
Most advanced treatment for curing fissures is laser technology. It is a day care process, meaning the patient would get discharged within the same day, and is performed under general anaesthesia. This method applies laser energy delivered by radial fibre to heal an anal fissure. It prevents the recurrence of the ailment and substantially reduces the risk of spread of infection. It is highly reliable technology that leaves no scars or stich marks. It is minimally invasive and requires less cuts to be made and the doctor closes the wound with lesser stitches, which are dissolvable, as compared to the traditional open surgery. Having a high success rate, it also does not require any sacrifice to be made as no diet restrictions are imposed on the patient who underwent this surgery.
Prevention of Fissures
Since an anal fissure can be quite troublesome in terms of causing sharp and intensifying pain and bleeding, it requires immediate treatment. As prevention is always better than cure, it is great to prevent fissures by following some precautionary tips. Keeping the anal region dry, drinking plenty of fluids along with intaking fibrous diet can work pretty well in keeping fissures away. It is a recurring and very common problem during infancy, therefore diapers should be changed frequently and liquid diet should be given in order to reduce the risk of fissures. Even, older people face this problem due to decreased flow of blood in the anorectal region. It is highly advised for people facing constipation to treat it immediately as constipation poses a very high risk of development of anal fissures.
In case of chronic fissures that persists for more than 8 weeks, when home remedial measures and other over-the-counter medicines fail to show any sign of fissure being healed, it is always advisable to approach a doctor as quickly as possible. Because of today’s advanced and seamless technology, it is nothing to be afraid of a surgery.
Laser surgery would ensure minimal invasiveness and unlike open surgery, it requires very less time for bed rest. A patient who undergoes this laser surgical treatment for fissure can quickly recover as not much cuts or wounds are made on the body of the patient. As compared to conventional open surgical method, it ensures less blood loss during surgery and very less pain. One can always avail this surgery by consulting their doctors.