Anal fissures are literally a pain in the butt. If you’ve had the displeasure of experience this condition, you’re probably familiar with how it can disrupt everyday life. It makes simple activities like moving around, exercising, sitting down, or having a meal, difficult.
In Singapore, anal fissures are (sadly) quite common.
A 24-year-old female reader asked a question through DxD's Ask A Doctor form. She believes that she has an anal fissure. Her suspicion were aroused by the pain she experienced while passing motion. She felt that her skin was tearing, but she did not see any blood in her stools.
She wanted to find out how are anal fissures treated and if she needs to seek further help. Here's what Dr Seah, an experienced GP had to say.
Anal pain can be caused by various factors, an anal fissure is just one possibility
Dr Seah Heap Yong, a Singapore general practitioner has 16 years of experience in this field. According to him, pain in the anus can be caused by many things. Although, if pain intensifies when passing motion, an anal fissure is most likely the underlying issue.
Topical ointments are among the most common treatments for anal fissures
Anal fissures can, for the most part, be treated with a topical ointment.
It can offer effective pain relief while the body is recovering. Dr Seah usually prescribes Proctosedyl, although he has heard of some other doctors preferring Rectogesic.
You should keep your stools soft
On top of using topical ointments, you will need to keep your stools soft so that you don't agitate the tear.
An anal fissure is essentially a small tear in the thin, moist tissue (mucosa) that lines the anus. So you can imagine how painful it can be when hard stools come in contact with the tear, ouch!
Consider getting stool softening agents from your doctor (such as Lactulose syrup) in order to avoid any additional trauma when you pass motion.
Anal fissures typically heal in 1-2 weeks' time
In general, anal fissures doesn't last for a long time. Usually the fissure will heal in 1-2 weeks' time, and the pain should stop.
However, if your pain persists beyond that, it's best that you go see a doctor (your family doctor will be a good start) for a proper anal and rectal examination in order to look for underlying causes.
Worst case scenario? A surgery will fix it
In the rare event that your anal fissure is persistent and difficult to treat, surgery would be a possible solution. Dr Seah suggests that you discuss with your doctor to see how you should go about doing it.
Anal fissures can be treated
If you find yourself squirming on the toilet seat trying to pass motion, Dr Seah has some wise words for you.
Consider seeking help from specialists if the problem continues to persist. Anal fissures are not that difficult to treat, so don’t give up!
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