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Anal Fissure and Fistula

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Anal Fissure and Fistula

Picture of anal fissure and anal fistula

An anal fissure is a narrow tear that extends from the muscles that control the anus (sphincters) up into the anal canal. These tears usually develop when anal tissue is damaged during a hard bowel movement or when higher-than-normal tension develops in the anal sphincters.

An anal fistula is a tubelike passage (tract) from the anal canal to a hole in the skin near the anus. This may occur after rectal surgery, after an abscess in the rectal area, or as a complication of a bowel disease.

Current as of: August 12, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
C. Dale Mercer MD, FRCSC, FACS - General Surgery

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This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.