What is Lateral Sphinceterotomy/Anal Stretch/Treatment of Anal Fissure?

Stretching and/or partially cutting the muscles in the anus.


This procedure will require an anaesthetic.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure.
They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:

  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart.
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases, part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.

Specific risks:

  • Heavy bleeding may occur from the wound. This may require further surgery and rarely a blood transfusion.
  • The condition may recur. This may require further surgery.
  • Rarely the muscles at the anus may be over stretched or over cut with a resultant weakness in the area. This could cause problems with control of the bowels (incontinence). A pad may need to be worn for a time.
  • Increased risk in smokers of wound and chest infections, heart and lung complications and thrombosis.