The long-term effect of standardized anal dilatation for chronic anal fissure on anal continence

Ilia Pinsk, David Czeiger, Daria Lichtman, Avraham Reshef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: For the past several decades, internal anal sphincterotomy has generally been considered to be the standard operation for an anal fissure. However, wound complications inherent in this operation forced surgeons to look for an alternative form of treatment. The aim of our study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of anal dilatation for chronic anal fissure, especially possible negative impact on anal sphincter function. Methods: The study was approved by the local Institutional Review Board and given a waiver of written consent. A phone call survey was undertaken among a group of consecutive patients who had an anal dilatation by standardized technique for chronic anal fissure for the period between 2000 and 2016. The survey included medical, obstetrical and surgical-related data, Wexner fecal incontinence score, recurrence of the anal fissure, and the need for additional medical intervention. Five hundred 48 patients were identified after limitations of age, concomitant pathology, and procedures that were applied to the hospital computerized database. Eighty-five patients (group A) agreed to participate in the survey and 463 patients did not. Results: There were no differences between groups in demographic information and medical records data; therefore, group A may well represent a satisfactory sample of the whole group. The interval between the procedure and the survey was 6.8±2.7 years. The Wexner incontinence score was 0 in 94% of patients. Conclusion: Anal dilatation, performed in a systematic and standardized way, has a successful outcome with no complications and has no clear long-term negative impact on anal sphincter function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Coloproctology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anal dilatation
  • Complications
  • Fissure in ano
  • Incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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