Anal fissure - Clinicals, Diagnosis, and Management

Colorectal

Clinicals - History

Fact Explanation
History of constipation or less commonly can be due to repeated diarrhoea Anal fissure is a longitudinal split in the squamous lining of the anal canal. It begins at the anal verge but does not extend beyond the dentate line. Commonly seen in posterior midline
it caused by local trauma to the anal canal, by overstretching due to hard stools or repeated diarrhoea.
History of constipation or less commonly can be due to repeated diarrhoea
Anal fissure is a longitudinal split in the squamous lining of the anal canal. It begins at the anal verge but does not extend beyond the dentate line. Commonly seen in posterior midline
it caused by local trauma to the anal canal, by overstretching due to hard stools or repeated diarrhoea.
Severe shooting type pain in perineal region It occurs during and following defecation lasting for minutes to hours, very painful as it involves the sensitive skin surrounding the anus. Severe shooting type pain in perineal region
It occurs during and following defecation lasting for minutes to hours, very painful as it involves the sensitive skin surrounding the anus.
Streaks of fresh blood on the stools Bright red blood (fresh blood) can be seen on the toilet paper sometimes. Streaks of fresh blood on the stools
Bright red blood (fresh blood) can be seen on the toilet paper sometimes.
Males and females are equally affected Anterior fissures are less common and commonly seen among females. Occurs following vaginal delivery. Young adults are mostly affected, but patient at any age could be affected. Males and females are equally affected
Anterior fissures are less common and commonly seen among females. Occurs following vaginal delivery. Young adults are mostly affected, but patient at any age could be affected.
Systemic inquiry for features of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Sometimes (not commonly) a fissure may be associated with a systemic disease such as inflammatory bowel disease. Also to exclude the possibility of another diagnosis (e.g., anal carcinoma, sexually transmitted disease). In these cases,initially treat the underlying pathology . Systemic inquiry for features of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Sometimes (not commonly) a fissure may be associated with a systemic disease such as inflammatory bowel disease. Also to exclude the possibility of another diagnosis (e.g., anal carcinoma, sexually transmitted disease). In these cases,initially treat the underlying pathology .
Sexual history HIV and HPV can cause macroscopic anal lesions. it s important for the management. Sexual history
HIV and HPV can cause macroscopic anal lesions. it s important for the management.
Itching, discharge from the perineal region When chronic, patients may complain of itching due to irritation from the sentinel tag, discharge from the ulcer or discharge from an associated intersphincteric fistula, when the fissure is complicated with infection. Itching, discharge from the perineal region
When chronic, patients may complain of itching due to irritation from the sentinel tag, discharge from the ulcer or discharge from an associated intersphincteric fistula, when the fissure is complicated with infection.

Clinicals - Examination

Fact Explanation
Inspection Important step in the examination. Pain on
parting the buttocks, sometimes presence of a sentinel tag are findings of underlying fissure, but examination under anaesthesia might be needed if failure for a thorough examination. Exclude other pathologies, such as squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal.
Inspection
Important step in the examination. Pain on
parting the buttocks, sometimes presence of a sentinel tag are findings of underlying fissure, but examination under anaesthesia might be needed if failure for a thorough examination. Exclude other pathologies, such as squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal.
Digital examination of rectum adequately lubricated index finger is inserted and the soft tissues around the anus are palpated for induration, tenderness and subcutaneous lesions. Examine for any distal
intrarectal, intra-anal or extraluminal mass.assess sphincter tone,there may be stenosis secondary to spasm or fibrosis of the internal sphincter.
On withdrawing the finger look for the presence of mucus, blood or pus and to identify stool color.
Digital examination of rectum
adequately lubricated index finger is inserted and the soft tissues around the anus are palpated for induration, tenderness and subcutaneous lesions. Examine for any distal
intrarectal, intra-anal or extraluminal mass.assess sphincter tone,there may be stenosis secondary to spasm or fibrosis of the internal sphincter.
On withdrawing the finger look for the presence of mucus, blood or pus and to identify stool color.
Proctoscopy examination Inspection of the distal rectum and anal canal. Especially haemorrhoids can be examined. Look for other sinister pathologies like carcinoma. Proctoscopy examination
Inspection of the distal rectum and anal canal. Especially haemorrhoids can be examined. Look for other sinister pathologies like carcinoma.
Sigmoidoscopy This is an examination method of the rectum, it should be carried out even though an anal lesion was confirmed. As Rectal pathology such as colitis or carcinoma, is commonly associated with an anal lesions such as fissure or haemorrhoids. Not uncommonly, rectal pathology is found that is independent of the anal lesion and requires treatment. Sigmoidoscopy
This is an examination method of the rectum, it should be carried out even though an anal lesion was confirmed. As Rectal pathology such as colitis or carcinoma, is commonly associated with an anal lesions such as fissure or haemorrhoids. Not uncommonly, rectal pathology is found that is independent of the anal lesion and requires treatment.

Investigations - Diagnosis

Fact Explanation
It is mainly a clinical diagnosis Diagnosis is by clinical history and physical examination. However to exclude the other differential diagnosis patients have to undergo several investigations. It is mainly a clinical diagnosis
Diagnosis is by clinical history and physical examination. However to exclude the other differential diagnosis patients have to undergo several investigations.

Investigations - Management

Fact Explanation
Full blood count In preparation for surgery exclude anemia. Full blood count
In preparation for surgery exclude anemia.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate These investigations are done if suspecting other underlying pathologies, eg:- crohn's disease, squamous cell carcinoma,tuberculosis. Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
These investigations are done if suspecting other underlying pathologies, eg:- crohn's disease, squamous cell carcinoma,tuberculosis.
Biopsy for histology Usually biopsies are not taken during surgery for anal fissures. If suspecting a malignancy or Crohn's disease a histology report can be taken Biopsy for histology
Usually biopsies are not taken during surgery for anal fissures. If suspecting a malignancy or Crohn's disease a histology report can be taken
Virological studies for sexually transmitted diseases Perform a HIV screening if suspected. Virological studies for sexually transmitted diseases
Perform a HIV screening if suspected.

Management - Supportive

Fact Explanation
Sitz bath Relieving of the pain and bleeding, as due to the pain the patient is afraid of defecation. This precipitates the constipation and this is a vicious cycle. This treatment has shown to decrease the pain and improve healing effectively
no serious side effects. Conservative treatment has a role in initial management
Sitz bath
Relieving of the pain and bleeding, as due to the pain the patient is afraid of defecation. This precipitates the constipation and this is a vicious cycle. This treatment has shown to decrease the pain and improve healing effectively
no serious side effects. Conservative treatment has a role in initial management
Hydrocortisone ointment, Shown to decrease the pain and improve healing effectively Hydrocortisone ointment,
Shown to decrease the pain and improve healing effectively
Lidocaine ointment Causes decreasing pain but no additional effect in healing Lidocaine ointment
Causes decreasing pain but no additional effect in healing
Adding adequate fiber and fluid to the diet , For the management of constipation. It minimizes recurrence. Adding adequate fiber and fluid to the diet ,
For the management of constipation. It minimizes recurrence.
Use of stool softeners such as docusate sodium or docusate calcium Helps in management of pain and also improves healing, Use of stool softeners such as docusate sodium or docusate calcium
Helps in management of pain and also improves healing,
Local application of heat To relax the hypertonic anal sphincter Local application of heat
To relax the hypertonic anal sphincter

Management - Specific

Fact Explanation
Surgical measures: Lateral internal sphincterotomy Surgery is the management of choice,it relieves the ischaemia, and is a very effective method. It is done under local, regional or general anaesthesia, and with the patient in the lithotomy or prone jack-knife position. Has a lower recurrence rate but faecal incontinence (96%) is the main complication. Side effects are predetermined by various factors such as age, parity,constipation and previous surgery. , Surgical measures: Lateral internal sphincterotomy
Surgery is the management of choice,it relieves the ischaemia, and is a very effective method. It is done under local, regional or general anaesthesia, and with the patient in the lithotomy or prone jack-knife position. Has a lower recurrence rate but faecal incontinence (96%) is the main complication. Side effects are predetermined by various factors such as age, parity,constipation and previous surgery. ,
Surgical measures: Anal dilatation This was a surgical method used in earlier days done under regional or general anaesthesia, now not in practice due to higher rates of fecal incontinence . Surgical measures: Anal dilatation
This was a surgical method used in earlier days done under regional or general anaesthesia, now not in practice due to higher rates of fecal incontinence .
Surgical measures: Anal advancement flap A newer approach to minimize the continence following the standard treatment. Surgical measures: Anal advancement flap
A newer approach to minimize the continence following the standard treatment.
Medical management By sphincter relaxation. Does not cause fecal incontinence patient will require repeated evaluation of symptoms. Medical management
By sphincter relaxation. Does not cause fecal incontinence patient will require repeated evaluation of symptoms.
Topical nitroglycerine ointment It is a nitric oxide donor that acts by reducing
spasm, pain is relieved, and increased vascular perfusion promotes healing. Should be applied four times per day to the anal margin. Effective treatment, but side effects such as headache and other NO related side effects can occur. ,
Topical nitroglycerine ointment
It is a nitric oxide donor that acts by reducing
spasm, pain is relieved, and increased vascular perfusion promotes healing. Should be applied four times per day to the anal margin. Effective treatment, but side effects such as headache and other NO related side effects can occur. ,
Topical calcium channel blockers: diltiazem, nifedipine Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) relax the internal anal sphincter by blocking the of calcium influx into the cytoplasm of smooth muscle cells. both nifedipine (0.2–0.5% gel) and diltiazem (2% cream) helps healing of fissure by decreasing anal sphincter. pressure., Topical calcium channel blockers: diltiazem, nifedipine
Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) relax the internal anal sphincter by blocking the of calcium influx into the cytoplasm of smooth muscle cells. both nifedipine (0.2–0.5% gel) and diltiazem (2% cream) helps healing of fissure by decreasing anal sphincter. pressure.,
Injection of botulinum toxin Botulinum is a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum which acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter preventing release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic endings. It relaxes of both the external and internal anal sphincters. ,, Injection of botulinum toxin
Botulinum is a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum which acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter preventing release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic endings. It relaxes of both the external and internal anal sphincters. ,,

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