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Causes of Anal Stenosis

What causes anal stenosis? This potentially serious medical condition – also referred to as anal stricture – is a narrowing of the anal canal, which is the terminal end of the human gastrointestinal tract. This narrowing is problematic as it can lead to a host of undesirable symptoms, such as constipation, painful bowel movements, diarrhea, anal leaking, and anal bleeding. There is no one single cause of anal stenosis. However, it is estimated that nearly 90 percent of anal stenosis cases can be linked to scar tissue formation caused by anorectal surgery, usually hemorrhoid removal.

Other causes of anal stenosis include:

  • Congenital anorectal malformation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Venereal disease
  • Rectal trauma
  • Rectal infection
  • Weak blood vessels
  • Intestinal malabsorption
  • Overuse of laxatives

The surgical procedure that is commonly used to relieve anal stenosis and its associated symptoms is called anoplasty. The goal of this procedure is to reconstruct the anal canal as necessary so that it can begin to function normally again. However, anal stenosis can, in many cases, be prevented from occurring in the first place. Preventive measures include taking fiber supplements, following a fiber-rich diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and regularly exercising and following a weight management program.

The physicians at Tampa General Hospital’s Endoscopy Center can diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions affecting the human digestive system, including anal stenosis and its various causes. Our physicians utilize the most advanced medical technologies available to provide care to individuals with minor to severe gastrointestinal problems. In 2017-18, U.S. News & World Report ranked TGH as one of Best Hospitals in the country for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery.

Use our Physician Finder to find a gastroenterologist at Tampa General Hospital or call 1-800-833-3627.