Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have an anal fissure, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases (gastroenterologist) or a colon and rectal surgeon.

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms?
  • Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • Is my condition likely temporary (acute) or chronic?
  • What treatments do you recommend?
  • Are there any dietary suggestions I should follow?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Where do you feel your symptoms the most?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions, such as Crohn's disease?
  • Do you have problems with constipation?

What you can do in the meantime

While you're waiting to see your doctor, take steps to avoid constipation, such as drinking plenty of water, adding fiber to your diet and exercising regularly. Also, avoid straining during bowel movements. The extra pressure may lengthen the fissure or create a new one.

Dec. 04, 2012