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Anal tears - What treatments work for anal tears?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If you've got an anal tear that won't heal with simple treatments, your doctor may suggest some ointment or an injection. If these don't work, you may need a small operation. All of these treatments aim to relax the muscle in your anus.

To read more about the simple treatments see What can I do to help my anal tear heal?

Key points about treating anal tears

  • An ointment that contains glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) helps heal tears in some people. Doctors usually advise trying this treatment first.

  • Drugs called calcium channel blockers may also help. But we need more research to show how well these work.

  • Botox injections may also help. They may work better than GTN ointment. But again, we need more research to be sure.

  • Surgery to relax the anal muscle works well for tears. As with all operations there's a small risk of complications. There's a small chance that you'll lose control over your bowels for a few weeks after the operation.

We've looked closely at the research and ranked the treatments into categories, according to whether they work.

Treatments for anal tears

Treatments that work Treatments that are likely to work Treatments that need further study Treatments that are unlikely to work



The anus, which is at the end of the rectum, is where stools leave your body when you go to the toilet. Part of the anus is a muscle that helps you hold in the stool until you are on the toilet.

For more terms related to Anal tears


For references related to Anal tears click here.
Last Updated: March 13, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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