There are probably a few million Americans who suffer the pain and even bleeding from an anal fissure.
This is a tough subject to talk about, but then, I’m a physician. What makes it tougher for me to talk about, is that I had a very painful anal fissure problem for three years.
Finally, I got the idea (that’s me… solutions to problems keep coming to me) of using a surgical super glue to close the fissure. After all, the same kind of glue is used by people to close fissures, small tears, in their thumbs or fingers. My older son was a professional drummer who would get tears on his thumbs and fingers, and using a Crazy Glue type of glue allowed him to control the pain, let the fissures heal, and not miss any concerts. It is used by surgeons as well, in the sterile form of the glue.
My colorectal specialist doctor (these specialists are also called proctologists), agreed to use the glue on me that I had purchased on the Internet. He had never done it on another patient and had never heard of it being done. It took him less than 2 minutes to seal my anal fissure. I couldn’t do it myself, because I couldn’t see where I would be putting the glue!!
The pain began to fade within three days, and in less than three weeks my doctor checked and said it was entirely healed, which is how it felt. Please understand that the glue does not cure the causes of anal fissure, so I have had to continue my daily use of mineral oil by mouth, once or twice daily, and other self-care to prevent new fissures. When I didn’t take the oil for even one day, a new fissure would start to form, but immediately resuming the oil and other self-care has made it heal up within two to three days each time.
What is an anal fissure? It’s a tear in the skin, not very deep, just outside the opening where, you know, the poop comes out. It is caused by an overly tight sphincter muscle that controls that opening so you don’t leak gas or poop when you want to hold it in. Thinning skin with age can contribute as a cause, as can local damage, such as by an overly aggressive rectal exam by a doctor, anal sex, any foreign object inserted, or by a very large poop that has to be forced out with real pressure in someone who has been constipated for a few days or who has waited too long to go to the toilet.
There is a surgery that might work, but since the tight sphincter muscle has to be cut to create an easier opening for poop, the surgery, which is painful and takes weeks to heal, can result in the person being unable to control the passage of gas, aka farts, in public (aka “flatus incontinence”), and even the poop can come out before the person can get to a toilet (aka “stool incontinence”).
The gluing has been used in a few countries around the world, but rarely if ever in the United States until my gluing. My doctor since then has glued a few fissures on other patients with some success. Failure of the gluing can be due to improper self -care after the gluing, an unusually deep fissure, or an unusually tight sphincter muscle.
If you’re interested in having your own anal fissure sealed with surgical glue, or if you have a family member or close friend who needs this help, check out the page on this website on anal fissures, or order the information pages on the Store page of this site that explains all of the self-care necessities to prevent most recurrences. Of course, a recurrence can be re-glued, but you, me or anyone, would surely like to avoid that necessity.
You should only have a doctor do the gluing. For one thing, you can’t see the area to do it yourself, and only a proctologist (colorectal specialist) or other doctor can check to be sure you, or the persons with the fissures, don’t have an infection of the fissure that should be treated before the gluing.
If you can’t get a doctor to agree to use the glue, you can contact me with the area you live in, and your doctor’s contact information if you already have a proctologist, and I will try, with your permission and request, to help you make this happen for you with your current doctor or another one in your area.
Anal fissures do not have to last for years or the rest of your life. Surgery would rarely be needed.
This simple treatment should become the USUAL treatment for a persisting anal fissure in the United States, and all over the world,
Thank you for your attention to this Blog.
Your friendly Problem Solver,
Dr. Ed Marshall