An anal fissure is a tear in the anal canal lining which may cause intense pain and bleeding. It may occur as a result of hard, stony stools or sometimes also childbirth. The anal canal is a tubular structure at the end of the gastro-intestinal tract through which the stool exits the body. If the tear is minimal, then drugs are used to counter constipation and strain or to relax the anal sphincter, which controls voluntary defecation. Surgical closure of a tear is only recommended if it is a very long tear.
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