Author(s): Rajashekar Jade 1 , Raghunath B. V. 2 , Naveen N 3
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Anal fissures are commonly encountered in routine colorectal practice. Chronic fissures have traditionally been treated surgically. Developments in the pharmacological understanding of the internal anal sphincter have resulted in more conservative approaches towards treatment. In this study, we compare topical 2% Diltiazem gel and lateral internal sphincterotomy with respect to symptomatic relief, healing and side effects in the treatment of chronic fissure in ano. METHODS 60 patients with chronic fissure in ano were randomly divided into Diltiazem gel and internal sphincterotomy groups. Patients were followed up at weekly intervals for minimum of eight weeks. Data was recorded accordingly. RESULTS Fissure completely healed in 28(93.33%) out of 30 patients treated with 2% Diltiazem gel between 4-8 weeks. Healing was 100% with internal sphincterotomy. The mean duration required for healing of fissure was 4.86 weeks in Diltiazem gel group and 3.66 weeks in internal sphincterotomy group. 61.5% patients were free from pain after treatment with Diltiazem gel whereas in internal sphicterotomy group 66.66% patients had pain relief at the end of 4 weeks. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSION Comparison between Diltiazem gel application and internal sphincterotomy did not show any significant difference in fissure healing and pain relief. No side effects were seen in Diltiazem gel therapy. Topical Diltiazem should be the initial treatment in chronic fissure in ano. It is better to reserve internal sphincterotomy for patients with relapse or therapeutic failure to prior pharmacological treatment.