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Anal Sphincterotomy

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Anal Sphincterotomy

(Sphincterectomy, Anal; Surgery for Anal Fissures; Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy; LIS)


Anal sphincterotomy is surgery to treat chronic anal fissures. An anal fissure is a painful tear in the lining of the anus.

Anal Fissure.

Nucleus factsheet imagehttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=73797379si55551567.jpgsi55551567.jpgNULLjpgsi55551567.jpgNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si55551567.jpgNULL15NULL2008-11-072543907379_639689Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Procedure

This surgery is done to ease muscle spasms that prevent fissures from healing.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Not being able to control leakage of gas or stool from the rectum
  • Anal abscess or fistula formation

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

What to Expect

Problems to Look Out For

Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Excess swelling, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the rectal area
  • Problems controlling bowel movements (pooping)
  • Problems urinating (peeing)

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.





  • Anal fissure. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/anal-fissure. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  • Anal fissure expanded information. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/anal-fissure-expanded-information. Accessed April 3, 2018.
  • Anal fissures. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/13177-anal-fissures. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  • Anal fissures. UCSF Medical Center website. Available at: https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/anal_fissures. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  • Anal fissure treatments. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, UW Health website. Available at: https://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/surgery/5467.html. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  • Higuero T. Update on the management of anal fissure. J Visc Surg. 2015 Apr;152(2 Suppl):S37-43.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.