An anal fissure is a painful tear in the delicate tissue of your anal canal. If you’re suffering from anal discomfort or bleeding, Nina Paonessa, DO, of Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, in Brielle and Manahawkin, New Jersey, can help. Dr. Paonessa is a highly skilled colorectal surgeon who excels in treating anal conditions, using conservative approaches where possible. She can also perform specialized surgeries such as partial internal sphincterotomy where necessary.

Dr. Paonessa is trained to perform this type of procedure to avoid the dreaded complication of fecal incontinence. Call Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, to schedule an appointment today.

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What is an anal fissure?

An anal fissure is a cut or tear in the skin that lines your anal canal. Anal fissures may be acute when they resemble a paper cut, or chronic, where the tear is deeper. Chronic anal fissures are those that last more than eight weeks. They sometimes lead to fleshy growths developing around the wound.

The most common symptoms of anal fissures are bleeding and rectal pain. Anal fissure pain can be severe, with patients likening the feeling to passing razor blades or shards of glass.

In most cases, Dr. Paonessa can diagnose an anal fissure with a simple exam.

What causes an anal fissure?

Causes of anal fissures include:

  • Straining
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Trauma to the anal canal

The location of your anal fissure can relate to the reason. If your fissure is on the side of your anal opening and not the back or front, it’s more likely to be caused by an underlying condition, like Crohn’s Disease. Dr. Paonessa might need to run tests if there’s a risk your fissure could be due to disease. These tests may include:

  • Anoscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

These tests use flexible endoscopes to view various sections of your bowel, from the anal canal to the last section of the colon (sigmoid colon) or your entire colon.

The test you need depends on what Dr. Paonessa finds, and other factors like your age that could increase your risk of certain types of bowel disease. Dr. Paonessa can diagnose your condition in the office, so you begin treatment immediately, quickly improving pain and discomfort levels.

How is an anal fissure treated?

In most cases, you can manage a fissure at home using conservative treatments like:

  • Keeping your stools soft
  • Adding a fiber supplement
  • Sitz baths
  • Topical medication

Sitz baths are warm water baths that help cleanse and heal tissues in your anal and genital areas.

If your anal fissure doesn’t heal using conservative medical management, you may need to have surgery. Dr. Paonessa is highly skilled in performing partial internal sphincterotomy, which, when done correctly, won’t affect bowel continence.

If you’re experiencing any rectal pain or bleeding, call Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, to book an appointment today to receive fast relief of your symptoms.