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Concept: Anal fissure


Honey is a bee-derived, supersaturated solution composed mainly of fructose and glucose, and containing proteins and amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and other minor components. Historical records of honey skin uses date back to the earliest civilizations, showing that honey has been frequently used as a binder or vehicle, but also for its therapeutic virtues. Antimicrobial properties are pivotal in dermatological applications, owing to enzymatic H2 O2 release or the presence of active components, like methylglyoxal in manuka, while medical-grade honey is also available. Honey is particularly suitable as a dressing for wounds and burns and has also been included in treatments against pityriasis, tinea, seborrhea, dandruff, diaper dermatitis, psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and anal fissure. In cosmetic formulations, it exerts emollient, humectant, soothing, and hair conditioning effects, keeps the skin juvenile and retards wrinkle formation, regulates pH and prevents pathogen infections. Honey-based cosmetic products include lip ointments, cleansing milks, hydrating creams, after sun, tonic lotions, shampoos, and conditioners. The used amounts range between 1 and 10%, but concentrations up to 70% can be reached by mixing with oils, gel, and emulsifiers, or polymer entrapment. Intermediate-moisture, dried, and chemically modified honeys are also used. Mechanisms of action on skin cells are deeply conditioned by the botanical sources and include antioxidant activity, the induction of cytokines and matrix metalloproteinase expression, as well as epithelial-mesenchymal transition in wounded epidermis. Future achievements, throwing light on honey chemistry and pharmacological traits, will open the way to new therapeutic approaches and add considerable market value to the product.

Concepts: Protein, Medicine, Enzyme, Glucose, Skin, Fructose, Sucrose, Anal fissure


Idiopathic chronic anal fissure is believed to be a consequence of a traumatic acute anodermal tear followed by recurrent inflammation and poor healing due to relative tissue ischaemia secondary to internal sphincter spasm. This pilot trial compared the efficacy of a novel manufactured ano-coccygeal support attached to a standard toilet seat (Colorec) to the standard procedure of lateral internal sphincterotomy (LIS) for chronic anal fissure.

Concepts: Medical terms, Fecal incontinence, Anal fissure, Lateral internal sphincterotomy


AIM: An evaluation was performed of the one-year outcome of open haemorrhoidectomy (Milligan-Morgan alone or with posterior mucosal anoplasty [Leopold Bellan procedure]). METHOD: A prospective, multicentre, observational study included all patients having a planned haemorrhoidectomy from January 2007 of June 2008. Data were collected before surgery, at three months and one year after surgery. Patients assessed their anal symptoms and quality of life (SF-36). RESULTS: 633 patients (median age 48 years, 56.5% female) underwent haemorrhoidectomy including Milligan-Morgan alone (n=231, 36.5%) or the Leopold Bellan procedure (posterior mucosal anoplasty) for resection of a fourth haemorrhoid (n=345, 54.5%), anal fissure (n=56, 8.9%) or low anal fistula (n=1, 0.16%). Median healing time was 6 weeks. Early complications included urinary retention (n=3), bleeding (n=11), local infection (n=7) and faecal impaction (n=9). At one year, main complications included skin tags (n=2) and anal stenosis (n=23). There were three recurrences requiring a second haemorrhoidectomy. On a visual analogue scale, anal pain at one year had fallen from a median of 5.5/10 before treatment to 0.1/10 (p<0.001), anal discomfort from 5.5/10 to 0.1/10 (p<0.001) and the KESS constipation score from 9/45 to 6/45 (p<0.001). The median Wexner score for anal incontinence was unchanged (2/20). De novo anal incontinence (Wexner >5) affected 8.5% of patients at one year, but preoperative incontinence disappeared in 16.7% of patients with this symptom. All physical and mental domains of quality of life significantly improved and 88% of patients were satisfied or very satisfied. CONCLUSION: Complications of open haemorrhoidectomy were infrequent. Anal continence was not altered. Comfort and well-being were significantly improved at one year after surgery. Patient satisfaction was high despite residual anal symptoms. © 2012 The Authors. Colorectal Disease © 2012 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.

Concepts: Surgery, Gastroenterology, Dietary fiber, Fecal incontinence, Hemorrhoid, Anal fissure, Lateral internal sphincterotomy, Proctology


BACKGROUND: In 1988, Longo proposed a new treatment for haemorrhoidal disease. In western countries day surgery procedures are becoming more and more common. We propose a new protocol for outpatient haemorrhoidopexy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 2003 to 2010, we performed 403 out-patient stapled haemorrhoidopexies under spinal anaesthesia, on patients with symptomatic grade III and IV haemorrhoid disease. We used PPH 01 and PPH 03 staplers (Ethicon Endosurgery, Cincinnati, OH, USA). We assessed early and late postoperative pain with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and clinical postoperative examinations were performed 7 days, 6 months, and 1, 3 and 5 years after surgery. RESULTS: The mean surgery time was about 20 min (range 13-39 min). Out of 403 patients, 41 were not dischargeable as a result of urine retention, severe pain or mild bleeding. Twenty-two patients reported transient faecal urgency, while no patient complained of anal incontinence. CONCLUSIONS: Our experience with 403 patients demonstrated that stapled haemorrhoidopexy is feasible and safe as a day surgery procedure. However, careful preoperative planning is necessary in order to evaluate the patients' health status and the consequent perioperative and postoperative risk. Our results are positive in terms of surgical safety and postoperative recovery time.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Surgery, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship, Anesthesia, Hemorrhoid, Anal fissure


Abstract Background: Pruritus ani (PA) is defined as intense chronic itching affecting perianal skin. Objective: We aimed to determine the efficacy of topical tacrolimus treatment in atopic dermatitis (AD) patients who have PA. Methods: The study included 32 patients with AD who were suffering PA. Patients were randomized into two groups. In total, 16 patients used 0.03% tacrolimus ointment and 16 patients used Vaseline® as placebo. All groups applied topical treatments to their perianal area twice daily for 4 weeks. The treatments were then reversed for 4 weeks after a 2 weeks wash out period. Results: In total, 32 patients with AD who had refractory anal itching were enrolled in the present study. None of the patients had obtained successful results with previous treatments. There was a statistically significant decrease in the recorded EASI, DLQI and itching scores for the tacrolimus group compared to the placebo groupat weeks 4 and 6 of treatment (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Topical tacrolimus treatment was well tolerated and effective in controlling persistent PA in AD patients.

Concepts: Allergy, Symptoms, Tacrolimus, Hemorrhoid, Itch, Anal fissure, Atopic dermatitis, Pruritus ani


INTRODUCTION: Anal fissures can be resistant to treatment and some patients may undergo several trials of medical therapy before definitive surgery.. It would be useful to identify predictors of poor response to medical therapy.. This study assesses the role of anorectal physiological criteria to identify patients with anal fissure predicted to fail Botulinum toxin (BT) treatment METHOD: A retrospective analysis of anorectal physiological data collected for patients with resistant chronic anal fissures referred to one consultant surgeon between 2007-2011 was undertaken. These were correlated with treatment plans and healing rates. RESULTS: Twenty-five patients with idiopathic chronic anal fissures underwent anorectal physiology studies and were subsequently treated with BT injection. Eleven had a characteristic high-frequency low-amplitude ‘saw tooth’ waveform or Anal Sphincter Fibrillation (ASF) and higher anal sphincter pressures. Nine of these patients (82%) had resolution of their anal fissure symptoms following treatment with BT. Of 14 patients with no evidence of ASF and a greater range of anal sphincter pressures, only 1 (7%) had resolution following BT.. CONCLUSION: ASF appears to be an anorectal physiological criterion that helps predict response of anal fissures to BT injection. This could help streamline fissure management. © 2013 The Authors. Colorectal Disease © 2013 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.

Concepts: Medicine, Prediction, Anatomy, Dietary fiber, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Botulinum toxin, Anal fissure, Proctology


Key Clinical Points Hemorrhoids Patients who present with any symptoms related to the anorectum need to be carefully evaluated to determine the cause. Many patients who are found to have low-grade internal hemorrhoidal disease have a response to conservative medical management, which should include attention to local hygiene and bowel regulation through adequate fiber and water intake and the avoidance of straining. Most patients who do not have a response to medical management can be offered an in-office procedure, most commonly rubber-band ligation. This procedure, in concert with bowel regulation, can be highly effective. Excisional therapies are more appropriate for patients in whom rubber-band ligation should not be performed or has failed and for those with grade IV disease or complications. Besides traditional excisional hemorrhoidectomy with the use of scissors or scalpels, methods for excising internal hemorrhoidal tissue include cautery, bipolar diathermy, ultrasonography, other energy-based devices, and staple fixation.

Concepts: Medicine, Surgery, Constipation, Gastroenterology, Dietary fiber, Hemorrhoid, Anal fissure, Rubber band ligation


Scand J Caring Sci; 2013; 27; 406-413 Women’s perception of postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction and their help-seeking behaviour: a qualitative interview study Aims:  To explore women’s perception of postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction and their help-seeking behaviour. Methods:  We interviewed 26 patients from two family practitioners' populations in the Netherlands 1 month to 1 year after their vaginal delivery. The semi-structured interviews were independently encoded and analysed by three researchers according to a scoring list on determined topics. Three researchers independently coded themes discussed by the interviewees that matched main topics from the interview guide. In the case of encoding differences, the researchers deliberated on them until consensus was reached. Findings:  All women suffered from pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary incontinence, pelvic floor pain, prolapse, haemorrhoids, anal fissure, constipation and dyspareunia. Midwives and gynaecologists did not prepare them for postpartum pelvic floor problems. The women did not expect the problems to be that severe. They hoped their problems would improve by themselves. The women talked to close initiates (female relatives and friends who had had deliveries themselves), who confirmed that the problems were an inevitable consequence of vaginal delivery and that there were no real treatment options. The women indicated they needed professional information about their pelvic floor problems but were ashamed to talk about them outside their inner circle. Conclusions:  These women are uninformed about postpartum pelvic floor problems. They discuss their pelvic floor dysfunction with close initiates who feed their hope that the problems will resolve spontaneously. The women are not stimulated to seek professional help. However, the women do indicate they need professional information. They want to understand their problems and know how to deal with them. It is time for doctors and midwives to focus on the mother’s health after delivery so that mothers will suffer less from pelvic floor problems, have more awareness of what they can do about them and call in medical aid.

Concepts: Childbirth, Urinary incontinence, General practitioner, Dietary fiber, Semi-structured interview, Interview, Hemorrhoid, Anal fissure


OBJECTIVES:Patients with chronic constipation due to food hypersensitivity (FH) had an elevated anal sphincter resting pressure. No studies have investigated a possible role of FH in anal fissures (AFs). We aimed to evaluate (1) the effectiveness of diet in curing AFs and to evaluate (2) the clinical effects of a double-blind placebo-controlled (DBPC) challenge, using cow’s milk protein or wheat.METHODS:One hundred and sixty-one patients with AFs were randomized to receive a “true-elimination diet” or a “sham-elimination diet” for 8 weeks; both groups also received topical nifedipine and lidocaine. Sixty patients who were cured with the “true-elimination diet” underwent DBPC challenge in which cow’s milk and wheat were used.RESULTS:At the end of the study, 69% of the “true-diet group” and 45% of the “sham-diet group” showed complete healing of AFs (P<0.0002). Thirteen of the 60 patients had AF recurrence during the 2-week cow's milk DBPC challenge and 7 patients had AF recurrence on wheat challenge. At the end of the challenge, anal sphincter resting pressure significantly increased in the patients who showed AF reappearance (P<0.0001), compared with the baseline values. The patients who reacted to the challenges had a significantly higher number of eosinophils in the lamina propria and intraepithelial lymphocytes than those who did not react to the challenges.CONCLUSIONS:An oligo-antigenic diet combined with medical treatment improved the rate of chronic AF healing. In more than 20% of the patients receiving medical and dietary treatment, AFs recurred on DBPC food challenge.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 16 April 2013; doi:10.1038/ajg.2013.58.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Nutrition, Asthma, Milk, Milk allergy, Anal fissure, Nifedipine


The objective of this article is to provide an informative and narrative review for the general Gynaecologist regarding the pathophysiology and conservative treatments available for faecal incontinence (FI). A PubMed search was performed by library staff and an author using the keywords: anal incontinence, faecal incontinence, accidental bowel leakage, outpatient clinic management of faecal incontinence and defecatory dysfunction. As the social limitations of FI can be devastating and long-term patient satisfaction rates after anal sphincteroplasty remain reportedly-low, the role of clinic-based management of FI has continued to grow. The purpose of this article is to provide the Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a basic template for screening, evaluation and management of faecal incontinence in the clinical setting.

Concepts: Hospital, Gastroenterology, Fecal incontinence, Defecation, PubMed, Hemorrhoid, Anal fissure, Lateral internal sphincterotomy