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Lateral internal sphincterotomy is a surgical procedure performed to treat anal fissures. An anal fissure is a tear in the tissue lining the anus, and is associated with pain and bleeding during bowel movements. The internal anal sphincter muscle is always under tension, but increased pressure can lead to the development of anal fissures or prevent an existing fissure from healing. If your physician has recommended a sphincterotomy, then speak to a GI Alliance gastroenterologist to have all your questions answered.

This procedure is performed on patients with anal fissures. The symptoms of anal fissure can include:

  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Itching
  • Bleeding

Some anal fissures may be able to heal on their own or with home treatments. Lateral internal sphincterotomy is indicated when conservative treatment measures fail to heal the fissure.

The sphincterotomy is performed on an outpatient basis under local or general anesthesia. Your doctor makes a small incision in the internal anal sphincter. The incision in the muscle reduces the pressure, allowing the fissure to heal. The incision is either stitched with dissolvable stitches or is left open to heal naturally. As with any procedure, lateral internal sphincterotomy may involve certain risks and complications such as incontinence of gas or stool, pain, bleeding, infection at the incision site, and difficulty passing urine. Please discuss all the risks and benefits of this procedure with your GI Alliance provider.

Anal fissures can heal on their own, but if you have an anal fissure that is not healing and is not responding to more conservative treatment efforts then a sphincterotomy may be able to help you. If you have additional questions about the sphincterotomy or any other treatment method for anal fissures, please contact your GI Alliance physician. As the nation's leading physician-led network of gastroenterologists, GI Alliance aims to provide patient-centric care for GI tract conditions like anal fissures. To learn more about the sphincterotomy process, please contact a GI Alliance location near you.

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After going to another doctor in the local area and him treating me like my issue is no big deal. I was able to get referred. G.I., Alliance of Willow Park, and from the very first meeting it was absolutely wonderful. It all happened within seven days from initial consultation to walking out after procedure both procedures in fact. Very clean very polite. Loved the people there they answered all questions. It was just a wonderful experience. if you’ve ever had doubts about having this type of procedure done, it was the easiest most wonderful experience I have ever had and this is my second time in four years. Thank you for taking the time to read the review..

P.O. Google

Very helpful, kind, and courteous.

P.C. Google

This doctor is amazing! Beautiful bedside manner, really listens to patient, explained everything to me, patiently answered questions. I would definitely recommend her!

M.C. Google

Very caring

W.S. Google

Dr. Ravi is a very caring, professional Dr.. I would highly recommend him. His office staff is very friendly and caring as well.

D.C. Google


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