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Treatment of Anal Stenosis

The goal of anal stenosis treatment is to manage the various symptoms that a narrowing of the anal canal can cause. Anal stenosis, which is also called anal stricture, is a serious yet treatable medical condition. It is a narrowing of the anal canal that can inhibit normal excretory function. Individuals with this relatively uncommon gastrointestinal condition can experience a range of symptoms, from moderate to severe, including constipation, diarrhea, painful bowel movements, and rectal bleeding.

Anal stenosis treatment can vary, largely because the severity of the stenosis will often dictate the most effective treatment approach to take. For example:

  • Mild stenosis can normally be managed conservatively, such as with a stool softener. Another form of treatment for mild stenosis is a procedure called a sphincterectomy. A sphincterectomy is a relatively minor operation that can be performed on an outpatient basis, with the goal of relieving pressure on the sphincter muscles.
  • Severe anal stenosis most commonly necessitates anoplasty. An anoplasty is a form of reconstructive surgery that involves replacing scarred anal canal lining with a more pliable flap of tissue.

What causes anal stenosis can vary as well and includes anorectal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., Crohn’s disease), venereal disease, radiation therapy, and long-term laxative abuse. The leading cause of anal stenosis is overzealous hemorrhoid removal. In such cases, the removal of too much underlying tissue leads to a problematic buildup of scar tissue in the anal canal.

Anal stenosis treatment is just one of the many offerings Tampa General Hospital’s Endoscopy Center. Our team of specialists includes gastrointestinal surgeons, oncologic surgeons, registered dieticians, and other highly trained medical professionals. In 2017-18, TGH was named one of the nation's Best Hospitals in Gastroenterology & GI Surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

We encourage you to search for a gastroenterologist by using our Physician Finder or by calling 1-800-833-3627.