Anal fissure fistulectomy

Also known as: Lateral internal sphincterotomy

An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the lower rectum (anus) that causes pain during bowel movements. It is a common condition. Anal fissures do not lead to more serious conditions.

Most anal fissures heal with home treatment after a few days or weeks (acute anal fissures). If you have an anal fissure that has not healed after 6 weeks, it is considered a long-term problem (chronic). You may need medicine to help a chronic anal fissure heal. Surgery may be necessary for fissures that do not heal with medicine.

You may need to consider surgery if medicines do not stop your symptoms. The most commonly used surgery is lateral internal sphincterotomy. In this procedure, a doctor cuts into part of the internal sphincter to relax the spasm that is causing the fissure.

Anal fissures affect people of all ages, particularly young and otherwise healthy people. They are equally common in men and women.

Sometimes an anal fissure and a hemorrhoid develop at the same time.