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Understanding the Symptoms of Anal Stenosis

The symptoms of anal stenosis indicate that the anal canal isn’t functioning properly. Also referred to as anal stricture, anal stenosis is characterized by a narrowing of the anal canal wall. This narrowing is most commonly caused by a buildup of scar tissue following anorectal surgery. For example, following surgery to remove hemorrhoids, scar tissue can form and eventually inhibit the individual’s ability to pass stool normally.

Whether by hemorrhoid surgery, chronic diarrhea, or other common causes of anal stenosis, the symptoms that result can vary depending on the severity of the stenosis. Symptoms can include:

  • Strenuous, painful, or infrequent bowel movements
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Stool leakage (incontinence)
  • Anal discomfort
  • Anal or rectal tearing

Treatment for anal stenosis can take various forms. One option is dilation of the stenosis by a medical professional. Another option is self-dilation, which an individual can do him- or herself at home in accordance with a physician’s directions. Surgically, anal stenosis can be addressed through a procedure called an anoplasty. An anoplasty is a form of reconstructive surgery in which the anal canal is restored to fully functioning condition.

The physicians at Tampa General Hospital’s Endoscopy Center are skilled at diagnosing and treating a wide range of gastroenterological problems. Whether it’s identifying symptoms of anal stenosis or providing treatment for a condition affecting the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, or small intestine, our team of specialists provides advanced patient care. TGH, a not-for-profit teaching hospital, has been named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Hospitals in the nation for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery in 2017-18.

To find a gastroenterologist, use our Physician Finder  or call 1-800-833-3627.