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(Sphincterectomy, Anal; Surgery for Anal Fissures; Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy; LIS)
Pronounced: A-nul Sfink-ter-ot-o-me
Sarah J. Kerr, BA
This is a procedure to treat chronic anal fissures. An anal fissure is a painful tear in the lining of the anus. The anus is the opening through which stool passes from the body. Tears generally occur just inside the opening.
If there are any skin tags near the fissure, they will be removed. Next, the doctor will carefully make a cut on the anal sphincter muscle. This will relax the sphincter and allow it to stretch, taking pressure off the fissure. The doctor will put a dressing into your anus to stop the bleeding.
How Long Will It Take?
Less than one hour
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesetics will prevent pain during the procedure. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
At the Care Center
You may be given pain medications and instructions for how to care for your rectal area. A nurse may change your dressing or instruct you on how to change it.
During your stay, the care center staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
Not allowing others to touch your incision
When you return home, follow your doctor's instructions for a smooth recovery, such as:
Keep your rectal area clean:
Remove your dressing before having a bowel movement.
Take a sitz bath 3-4 times a day and after each bowel movement. Sitz baths will help relieve discomfort and clean the area. For a sitz bath, sit in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Pat the area dry. Do not wipe or rub. Devices are available to place on top of the toilet to make this process easier.
For a few days, use alcohol-free baby wipes rather than toilet paper to wipe after bowel movements.
You will have reddish-yellow drainage from your rectum for a week or more. Use sanitary pads to absorb the drainage. You may have increased bloody discharge after activity or bowel movements.
If you are taking pain medication, you may need to take a stool softener to prevent
constipation. Eating a high-fiber diet can also prevent you from becoming constipated.
Avoid sitting or standing for more than one hour at a time.
For the first six weeks, do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).
Resume sexual activity when you feel comfortable.
Check with your doctor to see when you can return to work
Anal fissure. American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 2012. Accessed May 28, 2013.
Anal fissure. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated November 20, 2012. Accessed May 28, 2013.
Anal fissure/fistulotomy/sphincterotomy surgery. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, UW Health website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated April 24, 2013. Accessed May 28, 2013.
Anal fissures. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated April 19, 2010. Accessed May 28, 2013.
Anal fissures. University of California San Francisco Medical Center website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed May 28, 2013.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.