Lateral internal sphincterotomy is surgery to help heal an anal fissure that has not improved with medicine or other treatments. Most people notice that the pain from an anal fissure goes away within a few days after the surgery. You may be worried about having a bowel movement after your surgery. You will likely have some pain with bowel movements at first, but it should be less than what you had before the surgery. You may notice some blood on your toilet paper after you have a bowel movement for the first few weeks after surgery. You can make your bowel movements less painful by getting enough fibre and fluids and using stool softeners or laxatives. Sitting in warm water (sitz bath) after bowel movements will also help.
Most people can go back to work and their normal routine 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. It will probably take about 6 weeks for your anus to completely heal. Most people get better without any problems. But a small number of people have problems controlling stools when they pass gas. This usually gets better with time.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
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.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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