What happens if a fissure is not treated?

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When it comes to managing our health, understanding the implications of untreated conditions is crucial. At Marina’s Clinic, we often encounter patients with concerns about fissures, small tears in the skin of the anus that can cause significant discomfort. While fissures may seem minor, their impact on quality of life and potential for developing into more serious health issues warrants a closer look. Here, we delve into what happens if a fissure is not treated, emphasising the importance of early diagnosis and management.
Understanding Fissures
A fissure, particularly an anal fissure, is a small tear or cut in the lining of the anus. The symptoms can include pain during and after bowel movements, bleeding, and itching. While fissures are common and can affect people of any age, they’re often the result of straining during bowel movements or passing hard stools.
Complications of Untreated Fissures
Leaving a fissure untreated can lead to several complications, impacting not just the anal area but also your overall health and well-being:
1. Chronic Pain and Discomfort
Initially, the primary symptom of a fissure is pain during bowel movements. However, if untreated, this pain can become chronic, affecting daily activities and quality of life. The fear of painful bowel movements may also lead to stool withholding, exacerbating constipation and potentially leading to a vicious cycle of pain.
2. Infection
The tear in the skin can serve as an entry point for bacteria, leading to infection. An untreated fissure may become infected, causing increased pain, swelling, and discharge. In severe cases, the infection could spread to the surrounding tissues, a condition known as cellulitis, or even lead to a systemic infection.
3. Fistula Formation
A chronic fissure can lead to the development of an abnormal connection between the anal canal and the surface of the skin, known as a fistula. This condition requires surgical treatment and can significantly impact the patient’s quality of life.
4. Anal Stenosis
Long-standing fissures can cause scarring that leads to narrowing of the anal canal, known as anal stenosis. This condition can make defecation difficult and painful, requiring medical or surgical intervention to correct.
Prevention and Treatment
At Marina’s Clinic, we advocate for early intervention to prevent the progression of fissures into more serious conditions. Treatment options include:
Dietary Modifications: Increasing fibre intake and hydration to soften stools and reduce straining during bowel movements.
Topical Treatments: Application of topical creams to help heal the fissure and alleviate pain.
Minimally Invasive Procedures: For chronic fissures, options like Botox injections or surgery may be recommended to promote healing and prevent recurrence.
Fissures, though common, should not be ignored. The potential complications of untreated fissures highlight the importance of seeking medical advice at the first sign of symptoms. At Marina’s Clinic, Dr. Preethi Mrinalini is dedicated to providing comprehensive care in Chennai, from diagnosis to treatment, ensuring our patients can lead comfortable and healthy lives. Remember, early intervention is key to preventing the complications associated with untreated fissures. If you’re experiencing symptoms or have concerns about fissures, don’t hesitate to contact us for guidance with from our Female Doctor