III. PLIS ( Partial Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy )
Done under general anaesthesia, this is a minimally invasive procedure in which a small cut is made in the internal sphincter. Thus straining during defecation is considerably reduced and there is satisfactory relief from pain. This procedures requires a good amount of skill and expertise on the part of the surgeon as an inadvertent excessive cutting of the sphincter may lead to incontinence.
IV. Laser surgery
This is done with the Leonardo laser introduced for the first time in India at Healing Hands Clinic. The laser is used to perform internal sphincterotomy. This procedure is almost bloodless and the surgeon has good control over the operation site. Additionally, the chronic fibrosed scar is debrided with the laser. This prevents any long term discomfort and enables a quicker recovery.
V. BOTOX For Fissure
Botulinum Toxin A popularly known by brand name Botox is a neurotoxic protein that produces temporary, localized, flaccid paralysis of muscle. It is used commercially in medicine, cosmetics and research. It is often used to treat Anal Fissure, as an alternative to surgery, especially when medicines have been tried without success.
How does Botox work in fissure?
Many a times, an anal fissure is the result of an overactive sphincter muscle. This not only causes pain but also delays healing. The botulinum toxin is injected directly into the internal anal sphincter causing it to relax, thus reducing muscle tension. It also increases blood flow to the sphincter. All this aids in healing.
How is Botox given?
- As the anal region is quite sensitive, you will be temporarily sedated during the procedure to reduce the pain. At times, local anaesthetic is used to numb in which case sedation is not required.
- After cleaning the area, Botulinum Toxin is injected into the sphincter muscle that surrounds the anus
- The entire process takes around 20-30 min out of which the actual injection time is around 5 min.
- You can go home as soon as you are comfortable.
What happens after the procedure?
Painkillers may be used to relieve any pain from the injection. The effects of Botox start to become evident slowly over the next 72 hours, peak at 4 weeks and last for 3-6 months ( individual variation ). It is important to ensure that stools remain soft by taking a fiber-rich diet and stool softeners when prescribed.
Potential side effects ( seen in a minority of patients ) include bleeding, temporary loss of control over flatulence/bowel movement ( incontinence ), allergic reaction to Botox, muscle weakness and postural hypotension.
Final word on Botox for fissure
The popularity of Botox is because it offers a non-surgical option to treat chronic anal fissure. Most people have at least some relief in pain with it. It is effective in almost 60-70% cases. Another advantage is that it can be easily repeated after 6 months. There is a chance that in a small percentage of people it might not be effective and in that case other treatment options need to be considered.