I have a anal fissure that first appeared back around December of 2006. I think I had a hemorrhoid as well and is what caused it to not heal properly.
But I went to a colon specialist about 3 weeks ago to finally get it looked at. He recommended a lateral internal sphincterotomy right away. I persuaded him to let me try a higher fiber/higher water intake diet to see if it would heal itself. Well today was my follow up and although it is making slight progress the doctor still strongly recommended that I do the surgery. I'm not too worry about the pain after the surgery but I am very worry about the possibility of incontinence. My doctor says that in his 7 year career he hasn't had 1 patient that developed incontinence but about 5% developed minor incontinence (uncontrolled passing of gas) for a few weeks after surgery.
So should I just man up and get the surgery? I'm only 26 years old and really do not want any type of incontinence that may affect me for the rest of my life. But I've read so many stories online that if the fissure doesn't go away in 6 to 8 weeks it won't go away without surgery. The pain isn't really unbearable but I would like to get back to a normal life.
What should I do? Wait it out for another 3-4 weeks, then decide if I should get surgery or wait yet another 3-4 weeks? Schedule surgery now and get it over with? If you've gone through this surgery recently and have any suggestions or comments please post them.
Hello - Think into it for awhile before you have surgery. I've known 3 people who had this same surgery and all 3 of them ending up getting anal fissures again...so for them it was pointless. I've had them in the past and with my experience they healed given enough time and a good diet. Again, this is just my personal experience, but I always try to look into other methods of healing if at all possible. If you are in a lot of pain and you feel like you've tried all that you can then by all means....have the surgery...but if you have any doubts then wait a little while and see if it will heal. I actually used a herbal cream, drank plenty of water, and got all of the fiber's that I needed and 1 year later I am still fissure free. Take care and good luck ~ catherine
yeah I'm still thinking it through I guess. It's not too much pain but the thing that bothers me the most is that the fissure produces this small amount of strange liquid usually during the day. My doc says it's the fissure pushing out a "protein-rich" liquid as it's trying to heal. So I guess that's a good sign but it's been happening for months now and can be quite uncomfortable at times.
Guess I'll continue the high water/high fiber thing for another month or two and see how it goes. I hate the fact that the surgery doesn't even fix the fissure but just tries to promote healer. Otherwise I would have done it by now...
Sorry to hear of your discomfort. I suffered from an anal fissure for about 8 months last year then decided to have the LIS surgery. For me, it was the best thing. I tried everything to heal mine conservatively through diet, fluids and fiber and I had my successful periods and my not so successful ones. Once I started having constant anal spasms and realized that the tear had penetrated the sphincter muscle, I decided enough was enough. You will know when or if it is the right thing for you to do. Only you know how much you can take. As for incontinence, I have none. In the beginning, the first couple of weeks, I would pass gas. It was nothing loud or offensive sounding, it just slipped out. This goes away and is a normal , its part of the healing process. Remember, you just had the sphincter muscle cut, it needs time to heal and develop some tone. It sounds like a pretty radical thing to do just to heal what is basically a cut in your butt but it worked for me. The cutting of that muscle relaxes the muscle so it cannot spasm anymore and your fissure gets a chance to heal without constantly being tore open over and over again. I knew once my bottom was in a constant spasm that there was no way I wanted to live the rest of my life like that. I make sure I eat a high fiber diet, at least 30 grams a day, drink plenty of water everyday, its the only thing I drink now. I also take a fiber supplement twice a day and am perfectly fine living like this. Its healthy and I feel good. I also lost 62 pounds when I had my fissure, what a diet! Anyway, you will know when or if surgery is right for you. I can tell you that the recovery was a breeze compared to the fissure pain everyday. Hope your feeling better soon.
The Following User Says Thank You to purpleladyfish For This Useful Post: trobml (09-22-2011)
Hello....I too had the surgery and I now have my life back. I know what you are going through. I suffered for 2 years....The pain took over my life. I kept telling myself, I'll give it another week. Then 2 years later i got worse.
I felt better the very next day after surgery. With no problems. I don't know if you have seen some of my posts.
I had the surgery almost a month ago..NO pain whatsoever. I was back to work in three days. No incontinence but lately I have had a lot of excessive gas that is ruining me life. But at least my fissure is healed up it seems.
Have any of you had a white/yellowish liquid coming from your fissure before or after you had surgery? I don't have much pain but I still have a bit of blood (I only see it on my boxers sometimes but not when I wipe), and this strange liquid that is pretty consistent in showing up at least once a day.
Did either of you have this as well? I'm thinking of scheduling surgery soon to hopefully get rid of this pain in the butt!
I don't recall ever having any kind of a discharge from my fissure, of course, I was in and out of a bathtub so much it would have been hard to tell. Have you mentioned this discharge to your doctor? You have seen a doctor, right? How long have you had your fissure? If you do decide to have the LIS surgery, make sure you have a qualified colon rectal surgeon performing it. The surgery does fix the fissure. The reason a chronic fissure usually won't heal on its own is because of the sphincter muscle spasming. Having the surgery relaxes the muscle and allows the fissure to heal. I only had the sphincterotomy not a fissurectomy. My surgeon explained to me that there was no reason to perform the fissurectomy when the sphincterotomy would allow the fissure to heal and I would have immediate pain relief. If I had the fissurectomy with the sphincterotomy the pain relief would not be immediate as I would now have stitches in the fissure and there would still be pain while having a bm because the stool would still be grazing over an open wound, only now it has stitches to boot. Wasn't up for a painful recovery after what I had already been living through. My fissure healed fine after the surgery and recovery was a breeze. It will get better, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Yes, I've seen the doctor twice and he is a colon specialist. He says he does about 15 to 20 of these sphincterotomy a year so I'm not too concerned with his abilities. He says the discharge is a protein-rich liquid that is normal and it's just the fissure trying to heal. But I've seen it for awhile now (couple of months) so does that mean it is not healing completely because the discharge keeps appearing? I don't have much pain and it is off and on. I mainly want the surgery now to help stop this discharge from happening. I'll probably be making my decision soon as my doctor is coming back from his vacation this week.
Also, purpleladyfish, is your fissure completely or mostly healed? Do you have anymore pain or discomfort from that area or from your surgery wound? And if not how long after the surgery were you back to your old self.
I just wanted to chime in here with a bit different experience. Two months ago I thought I was going to have to have the surgery because I was so miserable with a chronic fissure. I had what felt like a huge inflamed tag that was the most painful part of it. BM's were not that bad...I do kind of remember a discharge some days, if this makes you feel better to know you're not the only one. I've tried a lot of things. The two main things that I believe had made a difference are the prescription nifedipine cream and taking Miralax. For me, excess fiber was not a good thing, but the miralax has really helped. I'm to the point now where I'm pretty comfortable, comfortable enough to not risk surgery, though I know from my reading that this could change at any time and I could be headed back to the butt doc. Good luck, Lynn
Thanks for the comment Booie98. I hope you get better on your own.
But I have scheduled to have surgery for my problem. In about 2 weeks I will have a fissurectomy and a possible sphincterotomy. My doctor sounds reassuring in that he will cut away only some of the fibers of the sphincter muscle in hopes it will help relax the area. But he is mainly concerned about the old scar tissue around the fissure that may be causing it not to heal properly so he wants to do a fissurectomy. I've read this procedure has a more painful recovery but what the heck...
I can't believe I'm going to have surgery on my butt. But I'm thankful it isn't something worst. Wish me luck.
I had the sphincterotomy done and it gave me incontinence immediately - and I still have it 9 yrs later! I recommend you avoid the procedure at all costs.
Sorry to hear that. Did you get it done by a colon specialist or by a general surgeon? I'm getting it done by a specialist and he says he does about 15 to 20 of these surgeries a year. He also hasn't had one patient that developed fecal incontinence. He's been practicing for over 10 years now.
I think your case is definitely the exception and not the rule. Hopefully I won't be an exception as well....