Lateral internal sphincterotomy is surgery to help heal an anal fissure that has not improved with medicine or other treatments. An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the anus.
During the surgery, the doctor puts a lighted tube (called an anoscope, or scope) into the anus. The doctor is able to see the inside of the anus through the scope. Special surgical tools are guided through the scope into the anus. The doctor uses the surgical tools to make a cut (incision) in the internal anal sphincter. The internal anal sphincter is a ring of muscle that controls the anus. This surgery relieves the pressure and allows the anal fissure to heal.
This surgery may be done while you are completely asleep or while you are awake. If you are awake, you will be given medicine to help you relax. You will not feel pain. The surgery usually takes less than 30 minutes. Most people go home the same day.
Many people notice that the pain from their anal fissure goes away within several days after surgery. But it will probably take about 6 weeks for your anus to completely heal. You will probably be able to go back to work and your usual activities about 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Having surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect and how to safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 27, 2018
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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