Laser treatment for anal fissures, also known as laser fissure surgery, is an advanced surgical procedure that uses laser beams to treat anal fissures (painful, bleeding tears or cuts in the lining of the anus). It is a 15 to 30-minute minimally invasive procedure with a quick recovery time.
The surgery is done under local anesthesia by a proctologist (a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus) or a general surgeon.
What are Anal Fissures?
Anal fissures are painful, bleeding tears or cuts in the lining of the anus. They are caused by trauma or injury to the lining of the anus. The most common cause is dry hard stools caused due to chronic constipation. Frequent diarrhea, unhealthy anal intercourse, obesity, and faulty eating habits can also cause anal fissures.
The symptoms are pain while passing stools and bright red blood streaks on the stool.
Your doctor will normally perform a digital rectal examination to assess the exact location of the fissure. Sometimes, a sigmoidoscopy(a test done using a thin tube fitted with a camera that is inserted inside the anus for better visualization) will be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment Options for Anal Fissures
Treatment for anal fissures depends on the symptoms and whether the fissure is acute (been present for less than 6 months) or chronic (been present for longer than 6 months). The various treatment methods for anal fissures include the following-
- Stool Softeners: These are medicines that help to soften your stool so that they pass easily without causing any harm to the already torn anal area.
- Nitroglycerine Ointment: Nitroglycerine helps to relax the blood vessels and improves blood flow to the fissure, thus promoting its healing.
- Topical Anesthetic Cream: These help in relieving the pain by numbing the area completely.
- Botox Injections: The botulinum toxin present in botox injections helps to paralyze the sphincter muscles, thus relaxing them and hastening the fissure healing.
- Blood Pressure Medicines: These help to relax the anal sphincter, thus promoting healing of the fissure. These medicines are applied locally or taken by mouth.
- Surgery: This method is used when all the other methods fail to give satisfactory results. Surgery for anal fissures is of two types:
- Open Surgery: Also known as lateral anal sphincterotomy, which involves cutting a small portion of the anal sphincter muscle to relieve the spasm and aid the easy passage of stools. This is an open surgery done under general anesthesia. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to heal from this procedure.
- Laser surgery: This procedure involves cutting the anal sphincter muscle with the help of laser beams. This is a minimally invasive procedure, a painless procedure done under local anesthesia.
What is Meant by Laser Treatment For Anal Fissures?
Laser treatment for anal fissures is a surgical way to treat the fissures. The surgeon uses laser beams to cut a small portion of the later anal sphincter in this method. This helps to relax the sphincter leading to easy passage of stool, giving the fissure a chance to heal. Laser treatment for anal fissures is a painless, minimally invasive procedure. It is done under local anesthesia and is completed in 15 to 30 minutes. Since it is a daycare procedure, you can go home the same day. The procedure is done by a proctologist (a doctor specializing in diseases of the anus and rectum) or a general surgeon. Recovery from this procedure is quick, you can get back to your routine work in 2 to 3 days. Complete recovery of the anal fissure would take about 2 to 3 months.
When is a Laser Treatment For Anal Fissures Recommended?
Laser surgery for anal fissures helps to relieve all the symptoms almost instantly. It is the preferred procedure by most surgeons because it is minimally invasive and the patients recover quickly. Laser surgery for anal fissures is indicated in the following conditions-
Chronic anal fissures causing severe symptoms
Anal fissures that have not responded well to non-surgical treatment methods
Anal fissures complicated with underlying fistula (abnormal opening between the anal canal and the perianal skin)
Fissures with increased tone in the sphincter muscles
How to Prepare For Laser Treatment for Anal Fissures?
Laser treatment for anal fissures is a popular and preferred method for the treatment of anal fissures by doctors and patients alike. This procedure is an easy and effective way to get rid of your fissures. Preparing for the procedure would require the following points.
Before The Procedure
- Your surgeon will get a detailed personal and medical history from you
- A rectal examination is performed to understand the location of the fissure
- Your surgeon will suggest tests like:
- Anoscopy- This test involves inserting a tubular device fitted with a camera that helps to view your anus and rectum
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy- In this procedure, a tube known as a sigmoidoscope is inserted into your anus to help the surgeon visualize the anus and rectum. This procedure is recommended to you if you are under 45 years of age and have no risk factors for developing colon cancer and intestinal diseases.
- Colonoscopy- This procedure is similar to sigmoidoscopy and is done in people over 45 years of age and those with a risk of developing colon cancer.
- Routine tests like a complete blood count, X-ray, ECG (electrocardiogram), and routine urine tests.
- High-definition imaging tests like CT scans or MRI if needed.
- You can ask your surgeon to explain the details of the procedure along with the outcome and prognosis. You will be asked to sign an informed consent form agreeing to go ahead with the surgery.
- Discuss your medical history with your surgeon and inform him/her about-
- All the medications that you are currently taking for your health conditions.
- Any dietary supplements and herbs that you are taking.
- Allergies towards medicines.
- You will be asked to stop medications like blood thinners (to prevent excessive bleeding during and after surgery) a week before surgery.
- On the day of the surgery, you will be asked to fast for a minimum of 12 hours before the surgery as the procedure is done under general anesthesia.
- Since you can go home the same day as the surgery, you will be asked to arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home after the surgery is completed.
How does a Laser Treatment For Anal Fissures Work?
A laser fissure surgery is recommended to you when your symptoms have become severe or when you have stopped responding to medical treatment. It is also recommended in case of complications like fistula development. The procedure is done by a proctologist or a general surgeon. It is done under local anesthesia and takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
- On the day of the surgery, you will be given an enema to help empty your bowels.
- You will be advised to stay in the lithotomy position, where you have to live on your back with your legs wide apart. This helps the surgeon to get a good view of the anal region
- Local anesthesia is administered to numb you to the pain.
- The laser is inserted into the anus. The high-energy laser beams are focused near the fissure.
- The beams cut a small part of the sphincter muscle. This relaxes and loosens the muscle.
- The fissure scar also heals during this process.
- Once done, you will be moved to the recovery room, where your vitals will be monitored.
- You will be allowed to go home once the effects of anesthesia wear off.
What to Expect After a Laser Treatment For Anal Fissures?
Laser treatment for anal fissures is a minimally invasive procedure that is preferred for chronic fissures and fissures that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment methods. It is done under local anesthesia, and you can go home the same day after the procedure. You will be given detailed instructions on caring for the wounds at home. You can return to regular activities in a day or two after surgery. Complete recovery will take about 2 to 3 months.
After The Procedure
- You will have some pain while passing stools for the first 1- 2 days. This pain will be significantly lesser than the pain before the surgery.
- Take frequent Sitz baths. This is a technique that helps to reduce the pain and swelling in the anal area. You have to sit in a shallow tub or basin filled with warm water for fifteen to twenty minutes. You may add a betadine solution for extra protection. A Sitz bath is beneficial for the following reasons-
-Improvement in blood flow to the anal region, ensuring better healing.
- You will be given stool softeners and laxatives to help you pass soft stools with ease.
- Avoid using tissues after bowel movements. Instead, use mild soap and water and pat dry the area well. Any moisture left behind may become a breeding site for germs.
- Eat bland food. Avoid spicy, oily, and salty food. Include a lot of fibrous food in your diet as they help prevent constipation and endure free motion.
- Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking a good amount of water.
- Recovery from this procedure is quick; you can get back to your routine work in 2 to 3 days.
- Complete recovery of the anal fissure would take about 2 to 3 months.
Benefits and Risks of Laser Treatment For Anal Fissures
Laser surgery for anal fissures is the preferred mode of treatment over open surgery due to its several benefits. However, laser surgery carries some risks as well. You must understand all the risks and benefits before making an informed decision on whether to opt for this surgery or not.
Benefits of laser treatment for anal fissures
- Minimally invasive procedure
- No cuts and sutures involved
- No bleeding
- Quick procedure, completed in 15 to 30 minutes
- Minimal downtime
- Faster recovery
- Quick relief from symptoms
- Minimal risks
Risks of laser treatment for anal fissures
- Pain and swelling at the treatment site
- Bruising in and around the anus
- Difficulty in passing stools
- Infection at the surgical site
- Bleeding from the anus
- Involuntary passage of stools
Why Choose Medfin?
Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is absolutely normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor, and the latest procedure at the lowest cost. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin!