Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Anal Fissure Anatomy

To better understand anal fissure, it helps to understand the anatomy of the colon, rectum and anus.

The large intestine is also known as the colon. It is the last portion of the intestine. The colon has several parts, including:

  • Ascending colon: the first section after the small intestine, located on the right side
  • Transverse colon: sits horizontally across the upper abdomen
  • Descending colon: located on the left side of the abdomen
  • Sigmoid: a short, S-shaped section above the rectum
  • Rectum: the lowest internal part of the colon

The anus is the opening on the gastrointestinal tract, where the stool exits. The anus marks the transition from the lining of the gastrointestinal tract to the external skin. The anal canal is a tube, 1-2 inches long that leads to the anus. The anal canal is surrounded by circular muscles, called sphincters, and blood vessels. The sphincters control defecation.

Last Updated: Nov 1, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Anal Fissure References
  1. Jonas M, Scholefield J. Anal fissure (chronic). Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):581-90. [15865662]
  2. Lawes D, Taylor I. Recent randomised trials in colorectal disease. Colorectal Dis. 2005 Jan;7(1):8-17. [15606578]
  3. Nelson R. Operative procedures for fissure in ano. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD002199. [15846630]
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