Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy

Lateral internal sphincterotomy is an operation to treat anal fissures. An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the skin lining your anus, inside your back passage.

Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy at Ramsay Health Care UK

Ramsay Health Care UK recognises that an anal fissure is a common condition that causes a lot of pain. If alternative treatments have not worked, then surgery will be the best option for you.

Our surgeons are available to discuss the best treatment options for your anal fissure. We have convenient and flexible appointments at times and hospital locations to suit you, so we can arrange swift treatment without waiting and relieve your pain as soon as possible. We regularly perform the gold standard anal fissure treatment, called lateral internal sphincterotomy, at our hospitals.

We have strict protocols in place to keep you safe when visiting one of our Ramsay Health Care hospitals.

What is a lateral internal sphincterotomy?

A lateral internal sphincterotomy is considered the gold standard for treating chronic anal fissures.

Lateral internal sphincterotomy surgery helps an anal fissure to heal and relieves its symptoms such as severe pain and bleeding especially after a bowel movement.

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and involves cutting your anal sphincter. The anal sphincter is a circular group of muscles that control your bowel movements. Releasing the sphincterotomy muscle of your anus, reduces tension and allows your anal fissure to heal.

A lateral sphincterotomy takes about 15 minutes. It has a very high success rate. However, incontinence can be a complication after this procedure.

What happens after lateral internal sphincterotomy?

As a lateral internal sphincterotomy is a day case procedure, you can go home the same day once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home, as you should not drive for 24 hours after a general anaesthetic.

You can expect to have some discomfort after the operation. Simple pain relief will help. It is recommended that you have a bath the day after your operation to help soak away any dressing and to keep your anus area clean. You may have a small amount of bleeding in the bath.

You may also have a little mucous discharge from your back passage for the first few days. A small pad or panty liner will prevent staining your underwear.

Is a sphincterotomy permanent?

Yes, a sphincterotomy is permanent. It is surgery to permanently release the sphincter muscle of your anus.

What is the recovery process after a lateral internal sphincterotomy?

The recovery time and process will vary from patient to patient but you can expect to return to work after just a few days.

You should try to take a bath or shower after every time you open your bowels in the first few days after your lateral internal sphincterotomy operation. After that you can wipe your anal area using damp cotton wool.

There may be a little blood with your poo or on the toilet paper for seven to ten days afterwards.

You will find it more comfortable to have bowel movements if your poo is soft. Drink plenty of fluids and eat a high-fibre diet with fruit, vegetables, pulses and bran. You may be given a laxative to take home that makes your stools softer.

What is the cost of a lateral internal sphincterotomy procedure?

You will receive a formal quotation price following your consultation and any required tests with one of our expert surgeons. This formal quote for your lateral internal sphincterotomy surgery will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Lateral internal sphincterotomy surgery is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before starting your treatment.

If you are paying for your lateral sphincterotomy yourself, we have a number of finance options to choose from:

  • Interest-free finance – 0% interest, no deposit and affordable monthly instalments.
  • All-inclusive Total Care - one-off pre-agreed payment for access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance.
  • Pay as you go – flexible funding to pay for treatment as and when costs arise. Often used if your treatment costs are difficult to assess.

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