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Colorectal Diseases

Lateral Sphincterotomy Decision Pre Pregnancy



Hello. I am a 30 year old female suffering from a chronic anal fissure. I have had reoccurring pain for years but the past three months have been unbearable. I have been prescribed compounded creams which have not helped and my colorectal surgeon feels that a lateral sphinctertomy is required to resolve my pain. Despite fears of the risks with this surgery I am willing to accept them hoping to ease my pain but I am torn as my husband and I are ready for a family (and the pain from the fissure has derailed our plans). If I have this surgery pre pregnancy how long will I have to wait to recover in order to start a family? Will the surgery cause any probelms during pregnancy from added weight and pressure? Will there be added risks with a vaginal delivery? I am trying to decide if I should try to deal with the anal fissure pain and defer surgery until after having a baby. Any information is appreciated.


Fissure surgery carries the risk of incontinence, but must be weighed against the 98% chance that you will get better after sphincterotomy.

No need to delay pregnancy after surgery

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati